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THE ROLE OF WORD GAMES IN SECOND-LANGUAGE ACQUISITION: SECOND-LANGUAGE PEDAGOGY, MO TIVATION, AND LUDIC TASKS By FERNANDO ARTURO OJEDA A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2004
Copyright 2004 by Fernando Arturo Ojeda
This dissertation is dedicated to my parents Carlos Manuel Ojeda and Ana Isabel Herrera de Ojeda to my wife Jeanna Howell Ojeda and to my children Adriana Eliane Ojeda and Carlos Eduardo Ojeda
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to express my most sincere appreciation to the members of my dissertation committee for their professionalism, their dedication, their patience, and their stellar guidance: Dr. Joaquim Camps, Dr. Diana Boxer, Dr. Tace Hedrick, and a late arrival on board, Dr. Gillian Lord. Thanks are also due to Dr. Jean Casagrande for his contribution to the committee through the qualifying exam process, before succumbing to the temptations of blissful retirement. I miss his bright smile and his great intellect. I could not have been blessed with a more competent and insightful committee chair than Dr. Joaquim Camps. Fortune would have it that his strengths, which are many, guided me to achieve more than I thought I was capable of achieving. His expert mentoring began early for me, as I was inspired by his knowledge and his kindness in the classroom before embarking on the dissertation process. I was also greatly impressed and inspired by the integrity and expertise of Dr. Diana Boxer; she was delightful in the classroom and wonderful to engage in conversation outside of the classroom. Dr. Tace Hedrick provided me with insightful information concerning the Surrealist writers and teaching baby Spanish. We discussed Latin American writers, politics, and life. I express my gratitude to her, for her warmth and her friendship. Sincere thanks go to Dr. Lord for graciously accepting my petition for membership on my committee at the last minute, and fulfilling her responsibilities with dedication and gusto. Her generous input has been invaluable. iv
I am very appreciative of, and indebted to, the four instructors from the University of Florida who volunteered to use their classes in this experiment. Their cooperative spirit, their professionalism, and their desire to see that their responsibilities were carried out successfully were critical to the fulfillment of this project. I also wish to thank the stellar students of the University of Florida who participated in this study (with their characteristically spirited collaboration). To my parents I owe a great debt for their sacrifice, their support, and their help with our children, so that my wife and I could fulfill this dream. The dream germinated when my parents migrated to this country so that we could gain a college education. Their sacrifice started early and continues to this day. I send a warm merci to Dr. Gatan Brulotte for sharing with me the magic that constitutes the Surrealist word games, and for inspiring me to dream up the idea for this dissertation. I also offer muchas gracias to Dr. Ramn Daz-Sols for being my first and most influential mentor in the academic realm. Thanks go to the St. Petersburg College family for allowing me the opportunity to pursue this goal with the comfort of knowing that my wonderful job was awaiting my return. It made the journey much more pleasant. It would be negligent on my part if I did not acknowledge the contribution my students at St. Petersburg College have made (and continue to make) as they challenge me to become a better teacher. I also wish to express my gratitude to my close-knit group of friends who encouraged me to forge ahead and continue with my education. Special thanks go to Cristina De Losh for being my Gator buddy, and for following (with me) the exploits of our beloved Gators in all venues. v
Special mention of gratitude and friendship goes to Dr. Keith Lindley, Suzanne Lindley, and their children, Alex and Gabrielle, for sharing their home, their sofa, their conversation, and their experiences. Keith cleared the path as my wife and I trudged the same ground as he, a few steps behind. Finally, I save my most profound appreciation and gratitude for my wife Jeanna and my children Adriana and Carlos (Edio). Jeanna was brave and bold enough to accept my suggestion to take this path with me. Together, she and I shared classes, experienced triumphs and defeats, spent countless hours in the library, rode our bikes to school, and held our hands out to each other to keep our spirits high and to pull each other up toward achieving our goal. Her perseverance in the face of formidable obstacles inspired me to accept my challenges stoically and with a stiff upper lip. It doesnt get any better than this! Adriana and Edio were the lights that shone the way for me. Without their inspiration, I may have never reached this goal. They were patient, loving, understanding, and encouraging. Their warm smiles, their eyes, and their laughter put things in perspective. vi
TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.................................................................................................iv LIST OF TABLES...............................................................................................................x ABSTRACT.......................................................................................................................xi CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 Background and Rationale............................................................................................1 The Need for the Study.................................................................................................3 Significance of the Study..............................................................................................5 Definitions of Key Terms.............................................................................................6 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE.......................................................................................8 Introduction...................................................................................................................8 Task-based Instruction................................................................................................11 Communication Tasks and Focus on Form Tasks......................................................17 Task-based Instruction in Language Learning...........................................................19 Word Games as a Component of Tasks......................................................................21 Surrealist Word Games...............................................................................................24 Motivation in SLA......................................................................................................26 Enhancing Motivation in the SL Classroom...............................................................33 Word Games and Motivation......................................................................................38 3 RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY......................................................44 Introduction.................................................................................................................44 Design of Study..........................................................................................................44 Participants.................................................................................................................45 Materials.....................................................................................................................46 Procedure....................................................................................................................49 The Games..................................................................................................................50 Game one: Alto....................................................................................................50 Game Two: Qu es? (What is?).........................................................................53 Game Three: The Sentence Formation Game.....................................................57 vii
Game Four: The If-clause Game.........................................................................59 Control Groups...........................................................................................................63 Analysis of the Data....................................................................................................64 Quantitative Analysis..........................................................................................64 Qualitative Analysis............................................................................................65 4 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION.................................................................................68 Introduction.................................................................................................................68 Quantitative Analysis..................................................................................................69 Game One: Alto...................................................................................................69 Game Two: Qu es?...........................................................................................71 Game Three: Sentence Formation.......................................................................74 Game Four: The If-clause Game.........................................................................76 Analysis of Isolated Questions by Group............................................................78 Analysis of the Motivation Questionnaire..................................................................85 Discussion...................................................................................................................88 Qualitative Analysis....................................................................................................90 Analysis of Student Data............................................................................................92 Analysis of Teacher Data..........................................................................................108 Discussion.................................................................................................................117 Analysis of the Open-ended Question in the Motivation Questionnaires................119 Pre game Questionnaire.....................................................................................120 Post-game Questionnaire...................................................................................122 Discussion.................................................................................................................126 5 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS.......................................................................129 Summary...................................................................................................................129 Limitations................................................................................................................133 Conclusions...............................................................................................................135 Implications for Second Language Acquisition.......................................................139 Implications for Pedagogy........................................................................................140 Ideas for Further Research........................................................................................142 APPENDIX A STUDENT BACKGROUND QUESTIONNAIRE..................................................145 B INITIAL SPANISH CLASS MOTIVATION QUESTIONNAIRE.........................146 C WORD GAME QUESTIONNAIRE (EXPERIMENTAL GROUP).......................148 D WORKSHEETS FOR GAMES ONE THROUGH FOUR......................................150 E WORD GAME INTERVIEW QUESTIONNAIRE.................................................154 viii
F INTERVIEWS FOR GAME ONE: ALTO DALD (S1) & HNTS (S2)....................157 G WORD GAME INTERVIEW GAME TWO: QUE ES? DALD (S1) & HNTS (S2)................................................................................................................164 H WORD GAME INTERVIEW GAME THREE: SENTENCE FORMATION HTNS (S1) /(DALD (S2) DID NOT PARTICIPATE)............................................171 I WORD GAME INTERVIEW GAME FOUR: THE IF-CLAUSE GAME DALD (S1), HNTS(S2)........................................................................................................177 J WORD GAME INTERVIEW (INSTRUCTORS) INEU (T1)................................184 LIST OF REFERENCES.................................................................................................194 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH...........................................................................................202 ix
LIST OF TABLES page 4-1 Alto Game................................................................................................................70 4-2 Qu es? Game.........................................................................................................72 4-3 Sentence formation Game........................................................................................75 4-4 If-clause Game.........................................................................................................77 4-5 Mean scores for Question 1 by games.....................................................................79 4-6 Answers to Questions 5, 6, and 18 by experimental group......................................81 4-7 Answers to Questions 13, and 17 by experimental group........................................82 4-8 Answers to Question 11 by experimental group......................................................83 4-9 Answers to Question 2 by experimental group........................................................84 4-10 Group means and standard deviation for Question 4 for all games........................85 4-11 Scores for Questions 1, 6, and 15 of the motivation questionnaires........................86 4-12 Scores for Question 13 of the pre game (Pre) and post game (Post) questionnaires...........................................................................................................87 x
Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy THE ROLE OF WORD GAMES IN SECOND-LANGUAGE ACQUISTION: SECOND-LANGUAGE PEDAGOGY, MOTIVATION, AND LUDIC TASKS By Fernando Arturo Ojeda May, 2004 Chair: Joaquim Camps Romance Languages and Literatures This study attempted to determine the role of word games and student motivation in the second-language classroom environment; and to compare games with more traditional practices as effective learning tools. The games were selected for their adherence to principles of task-based instruction and communicative approaches to pedagogy. Four teachers were recruited for the experiment. Each teacher taught two classes of Elementary Spanish II: one in the experimental group, one in the control group. The experimental groups used games on four occasions. The control groups undertook more traditional pedagogical activities. The student participants filled out questionnaires after the games were implemented. They reported on motivational aspects of the games. The students reported on their impressions of the activities, on the effect of the activities on overall class xi
atmosphere; and their effect on the learners relationship with their peers and their teachers. Four students in the experimental groups were interviewed after each game for a qualitative perspective on word games and language learning motivation. The teacher participants were also interviewed after the experiment. Results of the quantitative analysis showed that one game yielded results that lent support to the hypotheses that drive this study. Namely, learners who play certain types of word games will be more motivated to learn than learners who use more traditional activities; that games enhance the classroom environment, create a sense of community and enhance the learner / teacher relationship. Results for the remaining three games, did not support the hypotheses. Those games yielded negative results concerning word games in pedagogy. The learners described those games as boring and pointless. Learners stated that word games should not be an integral part of the curriculum, and they sensed that their peers did not enjoy the games. However, results showed that having fun, and creative activities, are highly valued. The qualitative analysis was more favorable for all four games. Together, the data (quantitative and qualitative) suggest that word games may be motivating and effective, provided they are sound academically, fun, competitive, closely linked to material being studied, and timely. Otherwise, learners do not endorse the use of games enthusiastically. xii
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Background and Rationale Within the communicative approach to second language pedagogy, certain fun activities can play a significant role in acquisition when The activities enhance the learners motivation to actively participate in the learning process (Debyser & Laitenberger 1976; Cerrolaza, Cuadrado, Diaz & Martin 1997; Moreno 1997; Julkunen 2001). The learners lexicon is given a widened semantic range through the use of metaphor and/or seemingly incongruent conceptual images (Guiraud 1980; Monnot 1988) The syntax is provided through the recurrent treatment of turns in play whenever a syntactical structure is required in an obligatory environment, such as the order of clauses in conditional sentences which can be alternated, for example. Using some types of word games in the second language (SL) classroom may effectively implement this strategy. By implementing certain types of word games in the SL classroom, the language instructor can provide implicit grammatical instruction veiled in the format of recurrent attempts at play. This is particularly true when specific target grammatical features are required in obligatory environments. In turn, this process may lead to automatization of specific grammatical structures (Lamy & Laitenberger 1976; Cerrolaza et al. 1997; Fernandez 1997). The redundancy inherent in the taking of turns is instrumental in comprehension, particularly in the case of semantic repetition (Doughty 1991). Practice, while repeating tasks in the classroom, has been shown to increase language accuracy, fluency, and complexity (Bygate 1996; Robinson 2001). 1
2 By using carefully selected crossword puzzles, Mollica (2001) also found that students may acquire new words or phrases and consolidate their knowledge through repetition. In addition, De Keyser (1998) posits that communicative drills in the classroom require the learner to use the language to convey real meaning (while the focus of the drill, some recently taught grammatical rule, can be kept in mind). He states further that communicative drills make sense from the viewpoint of cognitive skill theory. By having the learners drill a veiled grammatical structure, this structure may begin to shift from declarative knowledge to procedural knowledge and acquisition by developing automatic procedural skills. This veiled grammatical feature, through practice, becomes part of the linguistic inventory of the learner and its use will be manifested in automatic responses. Other types of word games whose object is to focus on grammatical features can be used to introduce explicit grammar instruction (Moreno 1997). The thoughtful and effortful practice of difficult linguistic features are believed to be beneficial, and even essential when they consist of receptive or productive opportunities for meaningful language use (Lightbown 2000). Furthermore, the rote nature of playing a word game that requires specific grammatical structures, or specific vocabulary, may create apt conditions for input flooding, which is beneficial in second language acquisition (Fernandez 1997), and particularly so if the input is personalized and contextualized. Mitchell (2000) advocates language flood whereby grammar teaching is, as he puts it, little and often with redundancy and revisiting of issues. The ludic element of playing word games in a formal instruction environment can also have a positive effect on learner motivation (Debyser & Leitenberger 1976;
3 Cerrolaza et al. 1997; Moreno 1997). Motivation, emotion, and socio cultural factors may positively affect the way in which humans process information (Laufe Hulstijn 2001). The source of motivation can result from multiple factors. The learners may be motivated by the element of fun alone (Mollica 2001). Games can provide a competitive environment that enhances SL learner motivation. Games can also, ultimately, help create a positive communal environment as the learners share a gratifying and ludic activity with their peers. This activity can forge a unifying bond and identity with cliques within the class and/or with the class at large (Fontier & Le Cunff 1976). Finally, some word games will encourage creativity in language use as the learners attempt to formulate and/or interpret metaphorical utterances (Mollica 2001). Word games based on tapping the learners creativity will help develop their language potential (Debyser & Laitenberger 1976). Games that create metaphorical utterances may expand the learners semantic range of lexical items or phrases as they seek potential meaning from incongruous images. The Need for the Study Given the shift toward more communicative-based instruction and the integral role that tasks play in the implementation of this strategy, it is important to identify specific task-based activities that promote language learning, and language-learning motivation. Presently, little research has been carried out that focuses precisely on the effect of specific classroom activities on motivation, on the one hand; and on student perception of the value of given activities on the other hand. This study attempts to address those issues. Second language pedagogy had already seen a shift toward a more communicative, task-based pedagogy, and away from a grammar and translation-based,
4 drill-based pedagogy. This shift accommodates the need for a more practical, communicative, strategy of language teaching. However, the emphasis on communicative methods of teaching makes the learners task challenging, because language learning is enormously complex (Lightbown 2000). Learning to communicate in a foreign language in a formal setting is difficult for many learners; SL instruction ought to accommodate the needs of these learners while it promotes the practices of current, communicative, language-teaching strategies. It is imperative that researchers in the field of second language acquisition (SLA) look into identifying pedagogical practices that are student-centered, communicative, effective, affective and motivational. To this end, this study sought to find some concrete answers to questions concerning whether, or to what extent, ludic pedagogical strategies motivate learners in the SL classroom. Currently, some societal influences are actively infringing on the formal second language acquisition environment, and they affect pedagogical decisions and strategies. Mitchell (2000) makes a connection between conservative governments in power in the industrialized, technologically advanced societies --such as the UK, USA, and Australia-and a trend towards outcome-driven, politicized, educational models. State intervention is increasingly evident in educational policy-making. The result is a what works approach to SL pedagogy that must prioritize the most teachable grammar features that can lead to measurable and lasting gains in student learning, based on scores on standardized testing. The goal is learner production and success. This is a polemic issue with which teachers must contend. Given this environment (which may promote rote, formulaic instruction), classroom strategies may experience a return to the book-bound, drilling and practice activities of old. Teachers may need to find pedagogical strategies that promote
5 motivation to learn, while being sound academically. Some of these activities may be used to target specific grammatical structures that are deemed necessary for testing purposes. Moreover, the importance of promoting learner production and success becomes crucial in academic environments where student attrition and student retention are problematic issues. It has become increasingly difficult to maintain learner interest in the confines of a classroom as teachers compete with formidable foes for their students attention. Since learners are coming into the classroom accustomed to being entertained by technology (video games, computers, television, camera-phones, etc.), language instructors may benefit from complementing pedagogical strategies with ludic activities that uphold the integrity of formal academic standards, while fostering language learning and learner motivation. From this viewpoint I endeavored to discover the validity of my long-held belief, based on my personal experience as language learner and language teacher, that it is possible (even desirable) to have fun while learning a language, in a formal classroom environment. I designed and implemented a quasi-experimental study to determine if a set of specific word games could have a positive effect on learner motivation in the SL classroom. The study also sought to determine if word games yielded more positive results in promoting learner motivation than other pedagogical strategies currently used in the classroom. Significance of the Study The study attempts to provide practical information for the field of applied linguistics. Data analysis provides information on the relationship between ludic activities and motivation. Results show to what extent (and what type of) ludic activities
6 can enhance learner motivation in the SL classroom. We also discover that not all ludic activities will motivate the learners, and that not all games in the classroom are ludic activities. Activities in the classroom provide information about a profile of sorts that began to emerge, one that identifies the young, typical, college student of an elementary, second semester, Spanish course, and her/his likes and dislikes concerning pedagogical practices. Chapter 2 provides a brief discussion on second language acquisition as it pertains to historical trends in research and pedagogical practices. There is a review of relevant literature in the fields of second language acquisition, formal instruction, task-based instruction, focus on form, word games in second language acquisition, surrealistic word games and motivation in second language acquisition. Chapter 3 describes the research design and methodology used in the study; and provides information concerning student population, scheduling of games, materials used, and the analysis of the quantitative and qualitative data. It also describes the design of the word games used by the experimental group (and the activities performed by the control groups on the days of the experiment). Chapter 4 reveals the results of the data analysis and discusses those results. Chapter 5 gives conclusions, limitations of the study, and recommendations based on the results of the data analysis. Definitions of Key Terms TASKS: as it relates to language learning, a task is an activity designed to engage the learner in the use of the target language to solve a problem, or to arrive at a solution, while using specific grammatical features implicitly. These activities are often collaborative, student-centered enterprises that place the instructors in supportive roles. LUDIC: fun, causing laughter-from the Latin word ludere: to play.
7 LUDIC TASKS: as it relates to this study, a ludic task is a pedagogical activity designed to promote fun, laughter and enjoyment, while attempting to motivate and to engage the learner in a language learning experience. WORD GAMES: games that focus on using features of language to arrive at a solution, or to win a competition. COMPETITIVE WORD GAMES: word games that have a tangible outcome and that are played by participants, either individually or in groups, who are trying to achieve the outcome faster or better than their opponents. Points are awarded to the victors. SURREALIST WORD GAMES: led by the French Surrealist writer, Andr Breton, the Surrealists engaged in games that were designed to use language, chance, and collaboration to produce metaphorical (or surreal) images. The games constituted an important experiment in language and the free association of ideas for the Surrealists from the 1920s to the 1960s. TRADITIONAL METHODS OF LANGUAGE INSTRUCTION: teaching methods that are associated with the behaviorist approach to foreign and second language teaching and learning. These methods were popular from the 1950s to the 1970s and are based on drilling grammatical features, translating texts from L1 to L2 or vice versa, and following a predetermined syllabus. Under these methods, learners engaged in neither lively nor contextualized speech. COMMUNICATIVE METHODS OF LANGUAGE INSTRUCTION: more current language methods that took hold in foreign and second language instruction environments in the 1980s. These methods emphasize the use of spoken language in real-world situations without explicit attention to grammar instruction. Grammar is treated implicitly, particularly when it is problematic, or when grammar errors are pervasive in the formal language instruction environment.
CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE Introduction Second language acquisition (SLA) has seen two major shifts in the focus of theory and pedagogical intervention. In the 1960s and 1970s, a behaviorist approach to language instruction emphasized habit formation through drill-and-practice. Under this view, while language learning is fostered by active and repeated responses to stimuli, target-like responses are rewarded and non target-like responses are corrected (Ellis 1994). The behaviorist tendency holds the position that language learning is synonymous to skill learning. During this time, pedagogy was characterized by reading and translating literary texts, memorizing vocabulary, learning grammar rules and using audio-lingual methods to cover a structure-by-structure syllabus (Lightbown 2000). The behaviorist view gave way to a naturalistic approach that holds that language learning is bound by the universal principles that intervene in first language (L1) learning (Krashen 1982). Proponents of this Nativist view posit that language learning is a natural process that makes use of an innate biological endowment, and that second language (L2) learning is very much like L1 learning (Larsen Freeman & Long 1991). As a result, pedagogical practices began to shift toward communicative-based instruction and away from the traditional drill-and-practice, grammar/ translation pedagogy that had dominated second language classroom teaching. Lightbown (2000) states that by the late 1980s, the pedagogical pendulum had swung toward the communicative language teaching camp 8
9 (and the strongly held notion that language learners only need exposure to comprehensible input for language acquisition to proceed). However, empirical studies found flaws in both approaches. Learners subjected exclusively to either strategy generally failed to reach native-like proficiency even under optimal learning conditions (Long 1988, 1991). The behaviorist approach of drill and practice inhibited the development of spoken language at the expense of more developed writing and reading skills. Total immersion programs that emphasized comprehension-based or content-based teaching reported garnering positive results in the students abilities in listening comprehension and their ability to use the target language to learn the subject matter. Yet it was also reported that their spoken production still contained many errors, even after several years of immersion (Lightbown 2000). Focus on form emerged as a pedagogical approach in second language acquisition that complemented communicative language teaching to enhance the language learning process. Long (1991) defines focus on form as meaning-based pedagogical events in which attention is drawn to structures of language as a need for it arises, and if the number of errors is considered excessive, rather than in a premeditated fashion. Within the communicative approach to pedagogy, attention may be drawn to a grammatical structure through input enhancement or tasks, whenever the instructor deems the structure to be problematic. The learners output and a preponderance of ungrammatical utterances will show which structures need focus on form treatment in the classroom. In the formal environment of a classroom, focus on form maintains the integrity of the communicative approach (where meaning is the focus of the lesson), while specific formal aspects of the target language are drawn to the attention of the learner (Long
10 1991; Long & Robinson 1998). Results of recent studies suggest that incorporating some degree of focus on form into communicative, meaning-centered instruction can lead to improved performance in processing input, improved fluency, and increased accuracy in language production (Ellis 2001; Laufer & Hulstijn 2001; Leow 2001; Williams 2001; Platt & Brooks 2002). The integration of attention to form and attention to meaning is undertaken by a variety of techniques (among them using tasks). A manifestation of focus on form is form-focused instruction (FFI) as proposed by Spada (1997). FFI is any pedagogical method that is used to draw the learners attention to language form implicitly or explicitly. FFI may be implemented in more traditional, grammatical presentation and practice pedagogy; in other words, through direct teaching methods that emphasize grammatical rules. In this respect, the techniques are presented in a predetermined fashion. However, FFI techniques may also be adapted for use within a communicative instructional approach that is primarily meaning-based. In this case, the intervention will probably be spontaneous. Focus on form and FFI constitute an area of inquiry where relevant issues concerning SLA are examined by both researchers and teachers (Ellis 2001). Spada (1997, p. 74) identifies these issues as follows Does second language instruction make a difference? Does type of instruction make a difference? Is form-focused instruction beneficial to second language acquisition? Are particular types of form-focused instruction more beneficial than others? Is there an optimal time to provide form-focused instruction? Are particular linguistic features more affected by form-focused instruction? Do particular students benefit more from form-focused instruction? Long (1991) makes a distinction between focus on form and focus on forms. Focus on form is the corrective feedback given to a learner whenever a pervasive linguistic form emerges as problematic within ongoing communicative activities. It is the allocation of
11 attentional resources to linguistic-code features during a meaning-based classroom lesson plan (Long & Robinson 1998). Focus on forms is a step-by-step grammar instruction that follows a predetermined syllabus. Focus on forms characterizes traditional synthetic approaches to language instruction based on the accumulation of individual language elements in a systematic order. There is no evidence that focus on form and FFI strategies will alter the order of acquisition of grammatical features. However, evidence does show that if the learners consciousness is raised relevant to specific grammatical features, the rate of acquisition may speed up and the ultimate level of attainment may be enhanced with use of these strategies (Long 1988, 1991; Fotos 1993; Leeman et al. 1995; Spada 1997; Lightbown 2000; Ellis 2001). When learners notice features of the target language, these features become more recognizable, and the learners become more comfortable using them. This awareness could lead to hypothesis testing and corrective behavior concerning language use. Task-based Instruction After the behaviorist approach to pedagogy gave way to a more natural language learning approach, a third pedagogical approach, Task-based Instruction (TBI), emerged and was motivated by Longs Interaction Hypothesis. Long holds that a crucial juncture of interlanguage development is interaction between a learner and either a native speaker, a teacher, a more proficient speaker of the L2, or an elaborated text in the L2 (Long & Robinson 1998). Long & Robinson state Particularly important is the negotiation for meaning that can occur more or less predictably in certain interactions, for example, according to the kinds of tasks in which speakers are engaged and the prevailing task conditions (p. 22). Interaction has been accepted as an important, facilitative factor in SLA, and one that connects input, internal-learner capacities, and output, in developing the learner
12 interlanguage and/or his/her emerging SL grammar (Long 1983, 1988, 1996; Long & Porter 1985; Long & Robinson 1998). Long (1983) states that the modifications of the interactional structures in native speaker/non native speaker conversations are more important than the comprehensible input that results from speech modifications made by native speakers in such exchanges. Evolving from communicative-based pedagogy, task-based instruction developed as a potentially effective alternative to previous pedagogic strategies. In the context of an SL classroom, tasks are activities designed to engage the learners in using the target language (communicatively or reflectively) to solve a problem or arrive at a practical outcome other than that of learning a specified grammatical form of the target language (Skehan 1996). Provided that the process of completing the task corresponds to that found in discourse based on the exchange of information, tasks may be real-world type activities (for example, giving or eliciting directions to get to a destination). Or they may be more contrived, pedagogic, activities such as interviewing a famous personality to elicit specific information (Ellis 1994). These types of activities in the SL classroom will foster a negotiation of meaning that, according to current SLA theory, can promote noticing. Noticing is thought to be crucial for advancing the interlanguage of the L2 learners (Schmidt 1990, 1993, 1995; Schmidt & Frota 1986; Sharwood Smith 1986; Fotos 1993; McLaughlin 1996). Noticing and awareness have been shown to have facilitative effects on foreign-language production (Laufer & Hulstijn 2001; Leow 2001). Empirical findings suggest that at least 3 levels of awareness are identifiable and measurable when L2 learners notice morphological form while completing a problem-solving task. Using a
13 binary three-item analysis system, Leow (2001) described the levels of awareness in this manner Level one: [ + cognitive change, meta-awareness, morphological rule]. Level two: [+ cognitive change, + meta-awareness, morphological rule]. Level three: [+ cognitive change, + meta-awareness, + morphological rule]. Different levels of awareness lead to differences in processing, while meta-awareness appears to correlate with increased use of conceptually driven processing (such as hypothesis testing and morphological rule formation). Absence of meta-awareness appears to correlate with an absence of such processing. More awareness is found to contribute to more recognition and accurate written production of noticed forms (Leow 2001). Schmidt (1990) describes three levels of awareness, one of which is noticing. The first level is perception, which generally implies mental organization, or the ability to create internal representations (this could also be subliminal). The second level is noticing, a focal awareness that distinguishes information that is perceived, and information that is noticed (when reading, we may perceive the syntax but usually notice meaning). The third level is understanding, this is achieved through activities of thinking, such as reflecting, analyzing, and insight. Long (1989) proposed the need for negotiated meaning as a particularly important feature of successful second language acquisition, a view shared by many researchers in the field of SLA (Doughty & Pica 1986; Rulon & McCreary 1986; Fotos & Ellis 1991). His assertion came as a logical advancement of Krashens Input Hypothesis (1985) and of Krashens claim that learners acquire morphological features incidentally, and in a natural order, only as a result of comprehending input addressed to them. Long argues that exposure to comprehensible input alone was insufficient for target like acquisition.
14 The results of Canadian studies carried out with students in French-immersion programs support his position (Long 1988; Lightbown & Spada 1997; Spada 1997). While immersion programs in Canada proved to be very successful in developing French proficiency (particularly with regard to discourse and strategic competence), the same levels of proficiency were not achieved in grammatical proficiency. Even advanced immersion students who were exposed to French for several years carried over L1 grammatical structures to the L2 that were ungrammatical in the target language on a consistent basis (White 1987; Spada & Lightbown 1989; Spada 1997). Although immersion programs provide an optimal source of comprehensible input, Krashen himself admits to the failure of this environment to yield target-like language production, as learners typically have an accent and make some grammatical errors (Krashen 1985). The failure of the use of natural input, alone, to foster native-like proficiency was instrumental in the rise of the notion of tasks in the SL classroom. According to Long (1989), the negotiated input that emerges (as a result of comprehension problems, and after subsequent conversational adjustments are undertaken in task activities and task completion), ultimately helps the SL learner to develop more target-like language production. A role of the instructor in this approach is to function as monitor and facilitator. Although there are a variety of interpretations as to the implementation of tasks, the instructor (or task designer) generally does not attempt to make learners notice linguistic features in isolated sequences in advance. Rather, s/he exploits opportunities that arise naturally from the interaction of learners and tasks (Long & Robinson 1998). In other words, in this strategy, the instructors prescriptive intervention concerning the grammar is reactive in its posture. A reactive approach is
15 deemed to be more congruent with the aims of communicative language teaching (Doughty & Williams 1998). The task of the instructor is facilitated by the fact that intervention is limited to pervasive and systematic errors in the classroom, and to errors that are remediable given the stages of development of the learner (Pienemann 1989). A second approach calls for a proactive stance concerning grammar instruction and tasks. A proactive strategy favors tasks that are designed and implemented according to a predetermined syllabus which leads the learners through language instruction in a methodical, step-by-step introduction of grammatical features (Dickins & Woods 1988; Fotos & Ellis 1991). The features that are singled out for special treatment may be determined by the perceived degree of difficulty of acquisition, by a predetermined order of acquisition of the specific linguistic features in question (Pienemann 1989), or based on research from studies in SLA. When the teacher makes an informed prediction or carries out observations to determine potential learner problems, the proactive approach is more feasible in most language-class settings (Doughty & Williams 1998). And although much learning can result without focused instruction, when learners are exposed to comprehensible input and opportunities for meaningful interaction, some linguistic features are still very difficult if not impossible to acquire without a proactive pedagogical intervention (Lightbown 1998). Task based instruction allows for increased comprehensibility without denying the learner access to unknown lexical items and grammatical structures in the target language. The nature of tasks, and the context-based instruction therein implied, provides important information about L2 form-function relationships. Negotiation of input also
16 elicits negative feedback in the form of recasts and/or explicit grammatical corrections (Long 1983, 1989). These corrective reformulations of learner utterances, while preserving the intended meaning of the learner, draw the learners attention to mismatches between input and output. This noticing (of a gap in the learners interlanguage) leads to focusing on structures that may otherwise go unnoticed, as in pedagogical approaches that emphasize a purely comprehensible input-based instruction. A fundamental goal of tasks in the classroom is to implicitly introduce grammatical instruction into the communicative approach, since researchers had been rediscovering that formal grammar instruction is beneficial to the acquisition process (Dickens & Woods 1988; Nunan 1989). Formal language instruction in the classroom was shunned by proponents of the natural approach. As noted above, a reliance on natural input alone, however, proved insufficient in reaching target-like language production in some areas of language use. Also, Lightbown (1998) showed that natural interaction does not always provide some linguistic features that are rare in classroom discourse. On the other hand, it was generally accepted by proponents of communicative approaches in SLA that a focus on forms alone (the explicit treatment of grammatical structures in the SL classroom through drilling, practice, and memorization) was equally ineffective and counterproductive to the goal of communicative competence (Foley 1990). Through tasks, the instructor could focus the instruction on meaning rather than on explicit grammatical instruction. According to some researchers, TBI can be the basis for an SL pedagogy or for an SL syllabus design (Nunan 1989; Skehan 1989a, Long & Crookes 1992, 1993), by focusing on tasks that foster real-world language use.
17 Recent research in SLA examined the effects of task repetition on measures of production and found increases in accuracy, fluency, and complexity as a result of practice (Bygate 1996, Robinson 2001). Effective task-based instruction that is communicative and meaning driven can therefore serve the purpose of bridging the gap between grammar-based formal instruction and a natural language approach to SL instruction; Mitchell (2000) points out It seems TBL (task based learning) can offer a balanced approach in which grammar pedagogy and focus on form are linked with communicative experience (p. 296). Task-based instruction allows the teacher to focus instruction on meaning while implicitly introducing grammar features that may be problematic to the learners, or uncommon, in classroom discourse. Communication Tasks and Focus on Form Tasks Purely communication-based tasks are activities that focus attention on interaction that leads to communicative competence. Willis (1996), a strong proponent of communication-driven tasks, said that these tasks must meet a naturalness condition that shuns conformity-based or display-oriented treatment of particular grammatical structures. Willis advocates a lexical approach to syllabus design, the suggestion being that transacting tasks will generate the most significant lexis of a language naturally, and learners will be able to use such lexis in syntactic patterns. The learner increasingly recognizes the idiosyncrasies of the lexis, and learning becomes the development of a greater command of lexical constraints. As communicative tasks allow lexically driven development to occur, these tasks will enable important and frequent lexis to be used and acquired. In this respect, L2 acquisition is likened to L1 acquisition. Focused communicative tasks can be designed and implemented so that the production of the
18 target grammatical or lexical feature is useful, natural, or essential to the performance of the task (Loschky & Vley-Broman 1993). Long proposed the use of communicative tasks while de-emphasizing a focus on forms (particular grammatical features). He advocated a task-based approach motivated by real-world needs. These tasks will generate interactions that engage the acquisition process, and will advance the interlanguage development by means of negotiated meaning and recast productions (Long 1989, Long & Crookes 1993). Thus, the resulting meaningful language (in a supportive environment) will assist structural development in the target language (Skehan 1998). Grammar instruction is given minimal attention in this focus on form approach (FonF), and it is only provided when the learners exhibit overt and excessive problems with certain grammatical features. Then it is considered reactive focus-on-form, which consists of the negative feedback teachers provide in response to learners actual or perceived errors. In other words, it focuses on learner needs (Ellis 2001). If the effectiveness of FonF is indeed based on learner needs, Williams (2001) advocates a close examination of episodes in the learning process when the learners themselves choose to focus on formal aspects of the language. A radical departure from the purely communicative-based strategies is using grammar tasks for communication. Communicative language teaching and formal instruction find common ground in the application of tasks designed to promote communication about grammar. The primary aim of this strategy is twofold: to develop explicit knowledge about the target languages grammatical features, while promoting interaction focused on an exchange of information. Dickins & Woods (1988) describe these tasks in this manner
19 Although one definition of a communicative task might be that it creates interaction among learners, another can be that it should assist the learner in developing (a) an awareness of grammatical choice and (b) the capacity to make the appropriate choices according to given contextual constraints. In other words, a communicative grammar-learning environment should facilitate the comprehension of how grammar works in the conveying and interpretation of meaning (p. 636). The tasks may be teacher-directed or they can be completed through pair/group activities to enhance opportunities for negotiating meaning (Fotos & Ellis 1991). The idea is to raise the learners consciousness of a grammatical feature as s/he solves an information gap problem with a peer. Each learner will have part of the solution and will need to share the information and receive additional information from the peer to complete a puzzle, thereby creating a two-way information gap task. The task will be closed, meaning that it will have met a predetermined objective, and the learners will need to formulate an explicit grammatical rule from the solution of the task. Finally, the learners will share the information with the rest of the class. Certain types of word games can be adapted to fit the model of a grammar task for communication. Task-based Instruction in Language Learning Recall that tasks have been shown to promote interaction and negotiation of meaning through recasts, reformulations, clarification requests, and so on. These communicative strategies provide opportunities for interlanguage development (Long & Porter 1985; Long 1989, Long & Crookes 1992, 1993). However, caution must be exercised in the implementation of task-based activities. TBI has not always lived up to the expectations and/or potential oftentimes heralded by many of its proponents in the field of SLA. Therefore, tasks must be carefully planned to achieve the desired goal of language acquisition. Empirical studies have shown that TBI does not always lead to negotiation for meaning, and that in the classroom environment, as opposed to a
20 laboratory type environment, learners may choose not to participate, not to talk at all, during certain types of tasks (Foster 1998). The classroom instructor must identify and use tasks or task-like activities that motivate the learners to participate actively, bearing in mind that the desired outcome of TBI is the ability to achieve real-world target task goals as measured by an estimate of successful performance (Robinson 2001). There has also been evidence that task-based instruction does not always yield the desired outcomes as a result of a mismatch between teacher intention and learner interpretation of the tasks (Kumaravadivelu 1991). Kumaravadivelu suggests a close working relationship between the teacher and the learner in the creation and the implementation of the tasks, a sentiment also shared by Foley (1991). Skehan (1996) credits Littlewood for a stance concerning task-based instruction that is appealing from a pedagogical position and from the perspective of teacher intuition. Skehan calls this approach the weak version of task-based instruction that claims that, although tasks are a vital part of language instruction, they are embedded in a more complex pedagogic context. He claims that tasks may be either preceded or followed by focused instruction, contingent upon task performance. This approach mirrors a more traditional communicative language teaching and may also be compatible with the traditional sequence consisting of presentation, practice and production. However, the practice should be based on communicative tasks rather than the stilted and guided activities of the behaviorist approach of the past. As a pedagogical tool, this strategy may be adapted to fit the practical aspects of the classroom foreign language teaching that is textbook-bound (classrooms that follow a pre-determined syllabus based on the presentation of grammatical features that build on themselves, and follow sequential lessons in a text
21 book). Also, this approach allows for the flexibility in the pedagogical presentation of L2 that takes into account the different learning styles encountered in the foreign-language learning environment. Word Games as a Component of Tasks Using word games in the SL classroom, as I propose for my study, can be viewed as an extension of task-based instruction. The games are designed to use specific features of grammar, either in isolation, or in conjunction with other grammatical features. The games are collaborative, and student centered. In some cases, the learners provide the corrective feedback necessary to render an utterance grammatical. I introduced four games into the classroom to test the validity of my assertions that word games may be instrumental in language learning motivation. Greater motivation in some learners can result in temporary expansion of resources such as heightened attention to and rehearsal of input in working memory. This is particularly true when meeting the demands of a language-learning task relative to other learners who are equivalent or superior in intelligence or aptitude, but having less motivation (Robinson 2001). Julkunen (2001) suggests that games are interesting and effective because the tasks that attract and motivate the learner are those that include an optimal amount of uncertainty and unpredictability. When faced with a comprehensible input, at the language level, that is incongruous or metaphorical, such that it is at first conceptually incomprehensible, learners are compelled to expand their semantic range in an attempt to make sense of these seemingly incompatible, incongruent, or metaphorical, images (Giraud 1980; Monnot 1988). I speculate that the learners would have to expand their understanding of the meaning of the words from a basic, logical, obvious meaning, to a more flexible, accommodating, potential meaning. The learners are compelled to notice,
22 in great detail, the structure and the meaning of sentences that may conceal a metaphorical idea. They will in essence see or create a metaphorical meaning. In SLA theory, noticing is thought to be a necessary condition for SL acquisition (Sharwood Smith 1986; Schmidt & Frota 1986; Schmidt 1990, 1993, 1995; McLaughlin 1996; Leow 2001). By making semantic adjustments, the learners will either restructure or reinforce their interlanguage, which may result in acquisition. Sentences that will not make sense under any circumstance will also stretch the learners semantic range as they will have to concede that two clauses combined ultimately make no sense. To do this, the learner will need a thorough understanding of the language used and of the potential range of meaning of the given lexical items. It may be argued that improbable images created while playing a language game may have beneficial results for the learners. Mollica (2001), while referring to games used in the classroom to improve learner acquisition of morphological features, states Teachers will find that some students, in order to be amusing, will think of improbable combinations, but these humorous, improbable combinations will stand out in the students minds and will help them recall these endings more easily and more readily (p. 468). Whether or not the images created by the participants in a word game are probable or improbable, the learner is often required to render an additional cognitive effort to find meaning. Robinson (1995) finds that when learners expend an additional cognitive effort to complete more complex tasks, together with a perceived need for communicative resource expansion, conditions are created for language development. Differing learner interpretation may additionally lead to interaction and negotiated meaning. In this respect, the word games resemble the problem solving tasks that have been shown to
23 promote the type of interaction that produces comprehensible input that, theoretically, leads to the possibility of acquisition of new structures (Duff 1986). Moreover, playing word games in the SL classroom places the teacher in a supportive role; the teacher is a facilitator. Deregnaucourt (1980) believes that this relaxed, ludic environment creates a connivance: a pleasant complicity between learner and teacher. Thus, word games allow for more student autonomy as they work in pairs or groups and shift the learning environment away from teacher-fronted instruction. These conditions have also proven to be beneficial for negotiation of content (Roulon & McCreary 1986). The design of the games as language learning tasks also ensures the learners active engagement in the learning process. This may result in the transformation of the task, the learner, and the group (Platt & Brooks 2002). These conditions may also lead to a sense of learner autonomy and increased learner self-confidence. As stated previously, playing word games in the SL classroom provides the learners with the opportunity to use given vocabulary or grammatical features in a repeated fashion. If, for example, the learners are playing a word game that calls for the construction of sentences using if-clauses, the structure will be repeated however many turns the learners play the game. Yet, the lexicon would differ in each instance, therefore giving the grammatical structures different contexts each time the game is played. This output, assuming that the input has been comprehensible, may lead to monitoring and automatization of those specific grammatical structures (Correlaza et al. 1997, Fernandez 1997). Following Ellis(1995) weak-interface model of acquisition, which posits that implicit and explicit knowledge are not separate entities but leak from one to the other so that one can become the other and vice-versa, the monitoring may also allow for
24 explicit knowledge to become implicit through a repeated production process that leads to acquisition. Surrealist Word Games Of the four word games I employed in my study, three come from a collection of word games that were commonly used by the French Surrealist writers and artists. By playing these games, the Surrealists attempted, among other things, to create surrealistic images and metaphors collaboratively while engaging in the ludic activity of playing games. The ludic element of these games was fundamental to the successful creation of metaphors and surrealistic images (Garrigues 1995). One characteristic factor of these ludic activities is that chance plays an important role in the outcome of the games, and this leads to the reason for much of the ludic element: humor (Sebbag 1994). The Surrealists held the notion that humor destroys the ordinary aspects of daily existence; humor startles the spirit by means of the unexpected, it detaches the spirit from its customary horizons and therefore prepares it to glimpse another reality, surreality (Duplessis 1950). Given their penchant for shocking the public out of a state of idle complacency, the Surrealists created imagery that was not amenable to rational control or explanation, oftentimes yielding to humor (Mathews 1977).1 These games, and others not used in my study, constituted a fundamental activity of the French Surrealists from the inception of the artistic movement in the early 1920s to the 1960s (Breton 1970; Daix 1993; Garrigues 1995). 1 The word games in general are referred to by the name Cadavre Exquis. Originally, this name was chosen to represent one of the games that is based on automatic writing in collaboration. On the first attempt at playing this game, several Surrealist artists, among them Andre Breton, created this random sentence: Le cadaver exquis boira le vin nouveau (The exquisite cadaver will drink the new wine). Hence the use of the term Le Cadavre Exquis to identify the whole set of games used, created, and played by the Surrealists.
25 The word games served various purposes for the Surrealists. Games were not only a ludic activity to be enjoyed by the participants as one enjoys playing any type of game, but, as Gooding (1995) suggests they are intended to free words and images from the constraints of rational and discursive order, substituting chance and indeterminacy for premeditation and deliberation (p. 10). For Breton and his Surrealist counterparts, word games also constituted a technique of experimental research into language, subconscious thought, and the free association of ideas. Equally important, the games were a common, collective activity, a group enterprise that had the advantage of fortifying the bonds of the different group members (Garrigues 1995). This bonding resulted from the experience of sharing a discovery, of prolonging a complicity, of laughing together. In that respect, the Surrealists were said to amuse themselves like children (Sebbag 1994). There is clear evidence of an application of these games to pedagogy in keeping with current theory of second language acquisition. These word games can be used communicatively, in question and answer sessions, to solve a problem or task. They rely on collaborative learning, they imply using comprehensible input as the learners provide the utterances, they are student centered, and they motivate the learners by, among other things, creating a sense of community within the classroom. Just as the Surrealists attempted to liberate their contemporaries from the restraints of reason, logic, norms, and general restrictive values that were imposed upon them by society, word games can enliven the SL classroom by occasionally liberating the learners from some of the rote, stilted, tedious, and formal second language pedagogy that may be more common in the classroom than we might imagine. Some researchers in the field of
26 second language acquisition are advocating using activities, tasks, and strategies that are fun, interesting, appealing. Laufer & Hulstijn (2001) state All learners and teachers know that motivation promotes success and achievement in L2 learning and that students who experience high amounts of an external or intrinsic drive or need to learn, will achieve higher levels of proficiency than students with low levels of drive. In practice, this means that educationalists may attempt to increase the learners motivation by providing tasks and materials that the students may experience as interesting and appealing ( p.1). Surrealist word games have the potential to provide learners with fun, interesting, and appealing activities in the second language classroom. Motivation in SLA Motivation is an important factor in SLA that is manifestly variable. An individual learners strength of motivation can change over time and may be influenced both by internal and external factors (Ellis 1994). A goal of my study is to determine if there is a link between student motivation and using word games, or other ludic activities, in the classroom. As noted by Schmidt & Watanabe (2001), learner motivation is an aspect of language pedagogy that, until recently, had gone largely unresearched. A number of recent studies concerning motivation have examined college (or college-bound) students motivation in SLA from different, yet relevant, perspectives. Ossipov (2000) examined students who were taking French courses at the college level and investigated why they pursued those courses. Most participants in his study reported having taken French at the secondary school level. Many of the respondents reported an intrinsic interest in the language and a desire to travel to a French-speaking place. Watzke (2000) surveyed 4,691 students spanning from the eighth grade to second-year college students to determine the demographic profile of the students who continue language study at the university level. The results of the study reveal that a vast majority of the
27 respondents who continued language studies had studied a language for at least a year before enrolling in college. Not surprisingly, language majors had studied an average of 3.92 years while non-majors averaged 2.71 years of study. Wen (1997) analyzed the initial motivational aspects of 77 students who began firstand second-year Chinese language studies and who then continued their studies beyond the first two years. Her findings show that the learners were primarily motivated to study Chinese as a result of two fundamental factors: intrinsic motivation in the Chinese language and culture, and a desire to better understand the culture and language of their heritage. Mandell (2002) surveyed 423 firstand second-year Spanish-as-a-foreign-language students at a major, metropolitan university in a city with a rapidly growing population of monolingual and bilingual Spanish speakers. His study dealt largely with language preparation before entering the university, preferred and desired activities of the curriculum at the university, and motivations for studying Spanish in that setting (Mandell 2002). Results showed that most of the students taking university level Spanish were juniors and seniors who had taken two years of high school Spanish. The preferred or desired activities were grammar-related activities (which constituted a surprise for the researcher) and speaking, conversation and listening activities. The major motivation driving the learners to study Spanish was completion of course requirements. The most important factors to be considered when studying learners motivation in a foreign language classroom environment are twofold. First, there are factors that teachers control, namely, strategies that the teacher can implement in the classroom that engender and/or foster motivation in the learners (Drnyei 1994a; Oxford & Shearin 1994; Julkunen 2001). Mandell (2002) believes that decisions concerning curricular
28 design should reflect the students motivation, interests and purpose. Second, we may profile student behaviors that are closely associated with motivation and reward the behavior in those students who exhibit it, and expose these behaviors for the benefit of students who do not. Julkunen (2001) asserts that more research is needed to understand learner motivation in the classroom as he believes that learners motivation and attitude can best be affected in that environment. There are many reasons why a learner wants to learn a second language. These reasons, in and of themselves, may sustain the learners interest sufficiently so as to influence her/him to maintain a high level of commitment to the learning process. However, learning a second language in a formal setting is an extremely difficult cognitive enterprise, one that yields more failure than success, particularly in the early stages of SLA. It is also a very costly exercise in terms of time allotted, energy expended, and, in some cases, money spent. These may be some of the decisive factors why bilingualism in the United States seems to be the exception rather than the rule (Ramage 1990). After all, English seems to be appropriating the posture of international Lingua Franca, giving many of our citizens the illusion that it is not important to learn second or third languages since knowing English will suffice. A second language teacher can have a positive effect on the motivation of her/his students by generating a positive learning environment that exploits strategies and behaviors that are conducive to high motivation on the part of the learners. Just as there are many reasons why a student may want to learn a second language, there are many ways that a teacher can intervene to influence the level of commitment, effort, and interest that a student can have and/or develop towards the task of SLA. Finally, we
29 cannot overlook the importance of teacher motivation in the classroom setting. How a teacher approaches her/his duties could have an important impact on how the learners take to the learning process. What teachers do in the classroom in turn will determine, in many instances, how motivated the learners will be. Concerning activities that learners consider valuable and relevant to their language learning goals, Jacques (2001) states Inherent in such an assumption is the fact that students will have decided preferences for certain instructional activities based upon their personal goals, instructional and cultural backgrounds, perceived value and difficulty of the tasks, and divergent personalities (p. 186). In a qualitative study of unsuccessful young-adult Hungarian language learners, Nikolov (2001) found that negative classroom experiences strongly influenced the learners. The learners reported that the focus on grammar drills and the rote learning of texts were boring and useless. They were also threatened by oral and written assessment practices with an insistence on accuracy and memorization. The field of SLA theory, concerning motivation, has been dominated by a social psychological theory created by Gardner and associates (Gardner & MacIntyre 1991, 1993; Garner & Tremblay 1994a). The theory is known as the Socio-Educational Model (Gardner 1985). The Socio-Educational Model is a social psychological construct of language learning motivation that emphasizes the desire for learning an L2 for the purpose of cultural and linguistic integration (Gardner 1985, 1988). Integrative orientation is considered the most specific or first level of this construct. An orientation is a set, or class, of reasons for studying a language; and cultural / linguistic integration is considered by Gardner and associates to be the most important. The desire to identify positively with the culture of the target language and its language, to resemble the foreign
30 peoples concerned, and to be able to participate in the culture, is cultural / linguistic integration (Gardner & Lambert 1972; Gardner 1988; Skehan 1989b). Gardner and associates consider two major types of motivation: integrative motivation, as described above, and instrumental motivation. Instrumental motivation is derived from the desire to gain an instrumental or practical benefit from learning a second language, such as getting good grades, getting a better job, earning more money, entering a prestigious college, and so on (Spolsky 2000). After much criticism concerning the apparent simplicity of viewing motivation from the bipolar perspective of integrative and instrumental motivation, Gardner and associates modified the model to represent, as a clear operational definition, the latent variable comprised of desire to learn the language, motivational intensity, and attitudes toward learning the language (Gardner & Tremblay 1994b). Garner and associates believe that integrative motivation is better for the language learner as this type of motivation is alleged to be positively related to L2 achievement (Gardner & Lambert 1972; Au 1988; Gardner 1988; Gardner & Tremblay 1994b). The integratively motivated student is an active learner, and s/he will extend her/his second language learning beyond what an instrumentally motivated student will generally study. This student will have more persistence in the difficult task of SLA. As a measuring instrument, Gardner and associates used the Attitude Motivation Index (AMI), a set of eleven measures originally created to study students of French as a target language in Canada. Each of the measures, also known as scales, has a number of items that the learners answer. For example, scale 1, attitude to French-Speaking Canadians, has 10 items.
31 The measures (scales) are 1. Attitude to French-speaking Canadians 2. Attitudes to European French people 3. Interest in foreign languages 4. Integrative orientation 5. Motivational intensity 6. Desire to learn French 7. Attitudes towards learning French 8. French teaching-evaluative 9. French course-evaluative 10. Instrumental orientation 11. French class anxiety The scores of the first ten measures are added together; thereafter, the score of French class anxiety, number 11, is subtracted from the total. This score represents the level of motivation that a learner has for learning a second language. Given the complexity of the issue of motivation, this measuring technique seems to some to be disappointingly simple (Skehan 1989b). For one thing, it is not always easy to distinguish between integrative and instrumental motivation (Ely 1986b). In some instances, it may be possible that a particular reason for learning a foreign language can be one or the other, depending on the social and psychological factors involved. Furthermore, the study of motivation through self-reporting tests cannot assume cross-cultural, or universal, uniformity. Cultural differences will be manifested in the responses as motivation responds differently to different social and cultural values (Clement, Dorney & Noels 1994). This renders data analysis and issues of uniformity very difficult to substantiate and verify. Self-report data present another type of problem that has drawn considerable attention. The approval motive, or the social desirability factor, is a liability for any type of questionnaire or self-report data. It is impossible to determine if the learner answers an
32 item with a response believed to reflect positively on the learner, rather than with her/his true beliefs and attitudes (Skehan 1989b). However, given the complexity of the area of motivation and the difficulty in assessing the degree or level of motivation of any given subject studying a second language, to date, self-report questionnaires have proven to be as effective as any other assessment tool in SLA motivation research. Two other methods widely used to measure motivation are indirect methods of data gathering. They are the Spolsky identity scales and the matched-guise technique. The Spolsky identity scales test consists of some 30 adjectives. Learners are asked how well these adjectives describe 1) themselves, 2) their ideal selves, 3) people whose native language is the same as theirs, and 4) native speakers of the target language in question. If the analysis to be applied is to yield a score for integrative motivation, the procedure would be to subtract the correlation between lists 2) and 3) from that between lists 2) and 4). A positive remainder could be seen as indicating a greater desire to be like the speakers of the target L2 than to be like the speakers of ones own native tongue (Au 1988; Spolsky 1989). At best, this measure seems limited to yielding information concerning cultural identification. It does not seem to touch on learning the target language. It is conceivable that a learner may be taking a language to fulfill a requirement and also identifies with cultural aspects of the people in question, yet has no intention of pursuing linguistic fluency. In a matched-guise technique, participants listen to tape recordings both in their native tongue and in the target L2. The recordings are made by bilinguals who read in both languages. Upon listening to the tapes, the subjects are asked to rate the speakers on a number of personality traits without knowing that the speakers have been the same
33 speakers in two guises. The scores are obtained by subtracting the average ratings of the L2 guises from those of the native guises. Again, as with Spolskys identity scales, this type of test emphasizes the attitudes towards a culture or a linguistic community, yet it says little in the way of language learning and of integrative motives. Another approach that may prove valuable in measuring levels of learner motivation is one achieved through qualitative means of measuring. This type of strategy may be implemented by face to face interviewing of the learners, after an experimental treatment, to garner personal impressions of the pedagogical interventions practiced. This strategy yields the best results if implemented immediately after the fact. The learners impressions of the event are clearer and more vivid the sooner s/he is interviewed, and accuracy may be heightened as s/he may not have to rely on longer-term memory to reconstruct the events. Enhancing Motivation in the SL Classroom Here are a number of suggestions to enhance student motivation in the formal SL environment. These suggestions emerge from two sources: 1) analysis of the literature in the field, and 2) my own personal experience in the classroom. In the latter respect, I am relying to some degree on what we develop as instructors in our profession, commonly referred to as teachers intuition. Following Drnyeis elaboration of Gardners theory of motivation and what he believes to be necessary components of a more complete theory, I consider exploring the intrinsic/extrinsic issues of motivation according to Drnyei (1994a). Deci & Ryan (1985) argue that intrinsic motivation is potentially a central motivator of the educational process (presumably so in the post-secondary environment). It is brought to our attention that a students intrinsic motivation is evidenced when the
34 learners natural curiosity and interest energize her/his learning. This occurs when the classroom environment provides demanding challenges, rich sources of stimulation, and a context of autonomy. The challenges of language acquisition in a formal environment must be within reasonable reach of students capabilities. However, it is assumed that the learner will provide the necessary effort and will be dedicated to meeting those challenges. The teacher can remind the students of the difficult nature of the task of SLA, while constantly rewarding their efforts and their successes. This may result in fostering self-confidence in speaking the language. Self-confidence is thought to be an important factor in learner motivation (Drnyei 1994a, 1994b; Laufer & Hulstijn 2001). The stimulation must be suitable to the students, and whenever possible, also to their generational and cultural interests: it must have relevance (Crooks & Schmidt 1991). To promote a sense of autonomy, learners may be surveyed to determine their interests and needs. Student autonomy in the context of tasks in the classroom refers to activities designed to be student-led and student-run while the instructor plays the role of facilitator on the sidelines. These collaborative exercises may even be altered by the learners, while in the process of engagement, if the learners feel that they may be improved upon or made more interesting. This may yield positive results, as current findings show that learners benefit from gaining a measure of autonomy in the learning process (Noels, Pelletier, Clement & Vallerand 2000). The concept of student autonomy (as it relates to motivation for learning) was introduced by Deci and Ryan in their self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan 1985). They see autonomy as a prerequisite for any behavior to be intrinsically rewarding (Deci
35 & Ryan 1985; Drnyei 1994a). This concept is consistent with the findings of a study that revealed that a students sense of self-determination and enjoyment of the learning process were enhanced to the extent that the teacher supported autonomy and provided informative feedback (Noels, Clement & Pelletier 1999). Autonomy may be seen as a cultural manifestation of motivation. Oxford reminds us that cultural influences have some effect on motivation (Oxford 1994). Autonomy and self-reliance can be exploited effectively by a teacher when teaching foreign languages to native speakers of English in North America. However, it may not be as profitable when teaching English to certain ethnic or national groups whose cultural bias leans towards cooperative or communal work. The concept of autonomy and self-reliance can be broadened to include competition, and another cultural and seemingly contradictory characteristic of our mainstream American culture, which is teamwork. Research shows that both cooperation and competition have a positive effect on motivation (Julkunen 2001). They both foster learner bonding and communal feelings within groups and/or with the class in general. Motivation can also be enhanced by creating group-cohesiveness. An effective strategy that can foster group cohesiveness in the classroom is that of using competitive activities. These activities will allow students to form temporary groups that will compete for some prize, recognition, or achievement. Competition may be incorporated into the classroom by playing competitive games that are language related. This type of activity can have the added benefit of instilling a sense of community in the classroom, and the individual students will gain comfort and support from their peers. Group cohesiveness, group goals, and group interests have been shown to play a positive role in motivation
36 (Hotho-Jackson 1995). These factors exploit extrinsic motives in the learner and make attending class more enjoyable. Extrinsic rewards can be multiple and teachers ought to remind students of these at the appropriate time (e.g., during a discussion on culture). In the classroom, extrinsic rewards may come by way of many factors, such as grades, praise & recognition, status, a sense of accomplishment, acquisition of useful skills, and others. Other components of motivation that may be exploited by the teacher in an effort to enhance motivation are Affiliative drive. This refers to a students need to please the teacher and has been identified in educational psychology as perhaps the most important teacher-related motive (Drnyei 1994a). Specific strategies that a teacher may employ are: learning the students names early; learning personal information about them through communicative exercises in class (and remembering them); eye contact with the students when interacting with them, and making students feel that they are individually special to the teacher. Modeling. A teacher might model behavior that is conducive to success in the learning environment. To begin with, a teacher must show passion for the subject matter and for the profession. The lessons must be well prepared, well presented and organized. The teacher must be fair and consistent in the treatment of the students. The first day of class, the teacher ought to point out that s/he is human and subject to making mistakes, and that mistakes are normal in language production (even by natives). The classroom environment ought to make the students feel free to be themselves by being an environment where ridicule is out of the question, but where everybody will make mistakes and will be corrected. Humor should reign whenever appropriate and effective. Feedback ought to be timely and constructive. However, the flow of the learning process should not be interrupted for the over-correction of minor mistakes. The learners ought to feel free to take risks in their efforts to produce spoken language; language class risk-taking was found to be a positive predictor of students voluntary classroom participation (Ely 1986a). A critical component that has not received much attention but that must be considered in fostering motivation is that of teachers being loyal to their personalities. A teacher ought to be genuine and sincere. When adopting new methodologies, these ought to adapt to the teachers personality and not the reverse; learners can identify the teachers role-playing and insincerity and may react against it. Naturally, when adapting methodology to fit the teachers personality, the methodology will differ depending on the teacher. However, it does not have to change fundamentally the approach or the strategy of the methodology.
37 Motivation is a difficult topic in education. It is difficult to measure, and it is subject to variations based on cultural differences (Laufer & Hulstijn 2001). The source of motivation is elusive; whether it is causal or resultant is not easy to determine. Skehan (1989a) characterizes resultant motivation as the perseverance in SL learning, provided there is success. Learners who are not successful will be discouraged and will not try as hard. Causal motivation, on the other hand, assumes that the learner brings into the classroom a certain amount of motivation as a given. Success in the classroom may result from this source of motivation. In turn, that success may engender more motivation to succeed further. In this case, it may be argued that the learner is benefitting from either or both types of motivation. In some cases it may be impossible to distinguish between these types of motivation. Current societal dynamics have also changed the profile of the student body, giving way to a wider range of abilities, disparate learning styles, and different motivational structures that need to be considered if the learners are to be well served (Bardwell & Braaksma 1983). The issue of motivation in second language acquisition is complex and constantly evolving. However, much can be gleaned from the research in the field and from theoretical approaches to the issue. Although the effectiveness of the measures used to determine the profile of motivation is open to debate, there is much that pedagogy can gain from a thorough investigation of the latest findings. Given the inherent difficulty of analyzing motivation, researchers are doing a valuable service to the field of education. In conjunction with the findings from research, teachers must also rely on their intuition about motivation to create the most effective, and affective, learning environment possible for their learners. Research findings and teacher intuition about motivation can
38 be integrated into a comprehensive approach to SL teaching that will ultimately benefit the learner. Lightbown (2000) puts it succinctly when she states No matter how sound the research on which new ideas, materials and techniques are based, pedagogical innovations must be implemented and adapted according to local conditions, the strengths of individual teachers and students, the available resources, the age of the learner, and the time available for teaching (p.455). Thus, if the teacher is to implement creative pedagogical activities and adapt these to the above stated factors, and in doing so, create a learning environment that is non-threatening, fun, challenging and cooperative, word games in pedagogy may prove useful. Word Games and Motivation To create the most effective environment for the learner in a communicative-based L2 learning environment, the teacher may consider enhancing the affective aspect of the SL classroom (Krashen 1982). Communicative strategies may inhibit many learners. Learners generally are intimidated by a learning environment that obligates them to actively participate in speaking the target language, especially when they do not feel themselves adequately prepared to do so. Thus, it is incumbent upon the teacher to bring into the classroom activities that serve the dual purpose of complementing the communicative methodology on the one hand, and lowering the affective filter of the learners on the other (Cerrolaza et al. 1997). A ludic learning environment allows learners to lose inhibitions, frees them to express themselves more openly, and unbridles the learners creative capacity (Moreno 1997). Debyser & Laitenberger (1976) claim that creativity in the classroom will develop a learners linguistic potential. Ces jeux de crativit ont pour fonction de dvelopper le potentiel langagier des lves en encourangeant linvention et la production pour le plaisir (emphasis theirs) de formes, de sens, de phrases, de discours ou de rcits originaux, insolites, cocasses, potiques, etc. (These games of creativity have as their function to
39 develop the learners language potential by encouraging invention and production for the mere pleasure of their forms, their meaning, their phrases, their discourse or their original, unique, funny, and poetic narrations) (translation mine) (p. 14). This study posits that by engaging in ludic exercises, the learners may be motivated to more readily participate in the daily classroom activities. Motivation in the learner may be extended to the simple desire to attend class and/or to look forward to attending. Cerrolaza et al. (1997) state Para realizar cualquier actividad, uno de los componentes esenciales es la motivacin, el hacerlo con gusto; de ah que nuestras clases tengan que ser amenas, divertidas, etctera. (To accomplish any activity, one of the essential components is motivation, doing something with pleasure, hence, our classes ought to be pleasant, fun, etc.) (translation mine) (1997, p. 33). Word games alone may not guarantee successful pedagogic intervention on the part of the teacher. Games ought to be carefully selected to fulfill a specific function, be it highlighting a particular grammatical feature, reviewing specific vocabulary, reinforcing what has previously been covered in the classroom, or motivating the learners to view a SL class as a worthwhile academic and/or social venture. A game may also be used effectively at the beginning of a semester to foster camaraderie, or break the ice of social distance between the learners. From a more practical perspective, the materials needed for the implementation of word games in the classroom may be of a very limited nature. Many word games only require the use of pencil, paper, and imagination (Vever 1976). Word games can also serve the purpose of diversifying the methodology within communicative approaches (Fontier & Le Cunff 1976; Lamy & Laitenberger 1976; Monnot 1988; Cerrolaza et al. 1997; Fernndez 1997; Moreno 1997). Even while using tasks as a basis for introducing alternate communicative activities, word games will add
40 another dimension to the classroom. In the structured environment of formal language learning, the introduction of games as a ludic component may have a motivating effect on the learner population. This is particularly so if the games complement a communicative language learning environment that engages the learners in the use of contextualized language. Another positive effect of word games in the classroom emerges as the learners interact in tandem or compete against each other while playing the word games. Word games can have a unifying effect on the classroom population in general and on specific groups of students in particular as they bond to create teams (Lamy & Laitenberger 1976; Cerrolaza et al. 1997; Moreno 1997). The ludic element of playing games in a formal classroom environment may bond the class members and the teacher as one unit undertaking a special experience together and enjoying it. Moreno (1997) lists the benefits of creating a ludic environment in the language classroom, and states that the ludic spirit in the classroom favors the following Contact between new students / breaking the ice, and social cooperation, all of which are indirect strategies for learning and communication. Confidence and losing ones inhibition to express oneself as the level of anxiety is lowered. Creative capacity. Practice, repetition and reinforcing what has been learned. These are cognitive strategies that are as necessary as the affective strategies (p. 40). Moreno follows the list of benefits attributed to creating a ludic spirit in the language classroom with a list of characteristics of effective ludic activities and how these may be used to treat grammatical instruction. These characteristics imply a more
41 explicit treatment of the grammar features that are treated. The characteristics are as follows: These are not communicative activities strictly speaking since the focus is not placed on communication; the focus in on language and the learners must be made aware of the fact that they are playing with the grammar, vocabulary, etc. These activities would fall under the umbrella of what is known in the field as Task-based Instruction. They should respond to an analysis of linguistic needs, integrated into the communicative functions that are to be developed. They should have a clear objective that the learners identify and distinguish from a mere game to be played to pass the time away. The activities should allow for repetition to achieve the automatization of use of grammatical features; however, it should be understood that it must strive to be fun and it should have an obvious link to real communication. Finally, the teacher ought to consult with the learners to learn from them if and how these activities have been effective and worthwhile. Learner input would give the teacher an indication as to the usefulness of the activity for subsequent use or improvement. As seen earlier in the review of Task-based Instruction and Motivation, allowing learner input to determine how the curriculum may be improved or adjusted gives the learners a sense of autonomy that in turn improves the motivation to be engaged in the learning process (Foley 1991; Kuramavadivelu 1991; Drnyei 1994a). Word games in the SL classroom will introduce a ludic dimension to pedagogy that may enhance the motivation of the learner and may aid in the acquisition process. Given the characteristics of word games in pedagogy, a teacher could engage in promoting pedagogical practices that may complement and enhance successful teaching practices. By using effective word games, the teacher may also engage in activities that are consistent with successful SLA practices according to research findings (Lamy & Laitenberger 1976; Julkunen 2001).
42 How well we motivate our learners may ultimately have a positive effect on the problem of learner attrition in some academic environments; and it may also promote interest in language learning beyond the foreign language requirements that many institutions impose upon their students. In many cases, those requirements are only two semesters of beginning language study. Learner motivation and learner interest is an issue of grave consequence at the college level, particularly so for Spanish as a foreign language learners. Schmidt & Watanabe (2001) discovered that learners of Spanish as a foreign language scored lowest on a battery of tests concerning motivation, in particular on aspects of intrinsic motivation. These learners were more likely than learners of other languages (French, Japanese, Mandarin, etc.) to report that they were studying Spanish mainly to fulfill a language requirement. The present study has been designed to determine the role word games play in the second language classroom as it pertains to motivation. Of particular interest was finding information concerning the learners views or perspectives about the activities that teachers bring into the language classroom. In keeping with current trends in second language acquisition, the games were designed to be implemented as tasks. The games were collaborative student-centered exercises, and whenever possible, the students were given autonomy in pacing the games and making self-corrections. The learners provided the input by creating their own utterances and sharing them with their peers, or by filling in blanks with their own vocabulary words, thereby maximizing the probability that it would result in comprehensible input. The output, in three of the four games, was corrected by the learners in collaboration. In three of the four games, the learners were also expected to notice specific grammatical features and to use them repeatedly.
43 The following hypotheses motivated the study Hypothesis 1: Word games enhance learner motivation in the SL classroom. Hypothesis 2: Students who receive the treatment of word games will be more motivated to learn Spanish than students who receive more traditional methods of instruction. Hypothesis 3: Students will prefer competitive games more than non-competitive games. Hypothesis 4: Word games improve peer relationships among the participating learners. Hypothesis 5: The learners attitude towards their instructors will be enhanced as a result of using word games in the classroom. By answering the questions posed by the above hypotheses, this study attempted to provide information that would enrich the body of literature concerning motivation in SLA and language pedagogy. The information garnered may prove useful in the areas of task-based instruction, curriculum design, and learner motivation. Of particular interest may be information regarding learner responses to the types of activities that they find enjoyable and effective in the foreign language classroom.
CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY Introduction The purpose of this chapter is to describe the experimental design used to investigate the role of word games in SLA pedagogy and the impact those word games may have on learner motivation in a formal foreign language classroom environment. The participants who took part in the study are characterized and the materials used to elicit the data are described. There is also a detailed description of the games played in the experiment. Finally, information on the procedures used to analyze the data is provided. Design of Study The study is a quasi-experimental research project undertaken at the University of Florida. Two types of treatment were provided to learners of Spanish as a foreign language to determine if one treatment was superior to another in enhancing student motivation. Nine classes were used in two types of groups: an experimental group and a control group. Of the nine classes, five comprised the experimental group and four comprised the control group. Four different instructors participated in overseeing the activities. Each instructor was charged with one class that belonged to the experimental and one that belonged to the control group, except for one instructor who was charged with two classes in the experimental group and one in the control group. The assignment of the sections into the two groups was done in a random manner. The student participants 44
45 needed to participate in all of the experimental activities for their data to be used in the analysis. The experimental group was asked to play word games in the classroom on four occasions. The control group engaged in pedagogical practices that did not include word games on the very dates that the participants in the experimental group were playing the word games. One of the four instructors coordinated the activities for all of the control groups so as to ensure uniformity in their activities. The word games took approximately twenty minutes to complete and the control group engaged in activities that also lasted approximately twenty minutes. Those activities will be discussed later. Participants The participants in the experiment were enrolled in the second semester of elementary college-level Spanish classes. The final pool of participants numbered 118, with 64 learners in the experimental group, and 54 learners in the control group. The learners were traditional college students, aged from 17 to 22. The second semester of elementary Spanish was deemed more appropriate than the first semester given the grammatical complexity of the structures needed to play some of the games, and taking into account the language material covered in each of the two semesters of the elementary cycle. Of particular interest was the degree of motivation at the elementary level, because many colleges only require two semesters of a foreign language to complete the language requirement of the curricula. Generally speaking, it can be assumed that in those college environments where there is a two-semester foreign language requirement, learners who reach the intermediate level of foreign language study have a language-learning motivation that is not often common in learners of the beginning levels. Research has shown that Spanish as a foreign language students report
46 lower levels of motivation, and they also report taking Spanish language courses mainly for the fulfillment of a requiremnt at higher rates than learners of other foreign languages (Schmidt & Watanabe 2001) Materials All participating learners filled out a personal information questionnaire concerning age, gender, previous foreign language experience, language use on a daily basis, language use in the home and reasons for studying Spanish (appendix A). There were two identical questionnaires concerning motivation that were administered approximately one week before the experiment began at the beginning of the semester, and approximately one week after the experiment was completed at the end of the semester (appendix B). These questionnaires contained twenty, five-point, Likert-scale type questions concerning the students specific experience in the Spanish classroom as it relates to motivation. The questions asked if the learners enjoyed the class, whether or not the activities in class were enjoyable, how they felt about group activities, whether or not they would recommend the class to peers, their level of interest, and other questions that dealt with the atmosphere in the class and strategies used in class. Each of the questionnaires also offered an open-ended question that asked the students to comment on what activities they anticipated enjoying in the classroom (in the first questionnaire), and what activities they had enjoyed in the classroom (in the last questionnaire). Once the experiment began, after each word game was completed, the students in both the experimental and control groups filled out an eighteen item questionnaire that asked for feedback on the specific activity of that day (appendix C). The questionnaires were self-report surveys that asked the learners to comment on how the word games may
47 have contributed to motivation in their SL experience. Six of the questions were doubled to form one affirmative view and one negative view of the same question. These six items were questions that elicited motivation-related information about the game. For example, question 1 (I enjoyed playing the ________ game in class) was the affirmative version of Question 9 (I did not enjoy playing the _________ game). This design was used to give the learners two opportunities to reflect on the same issue, from two perspectives. In this way, certainty about the information elicited in those six items was assured. The other six items elicited more general information about the role of word games in the classroom. For example, Question 5 asked if certain games helped the learners acquire new vocabulary. All Likert-scale type survey items consisted of this five point scale: 1. I strongly agree, 2. I agree, 3. I neither agree nor disagree, 4. I disagree, 5. I strongly disagree. The control group was also asked to fill out a questionnaire (appendix C) that asked similar questions to those asked of the experimental group concerning their activities on the days of the treatment and how those activities may have affected their motivation. The control group questionnaire was also a Likert-type, five point, questionnaire with an open-ended question for additional commentary that was identical to that of the experimental group questionnaire. The learners in the experimental group were handed worksheets for each game (appendix D). Each worksheet was designed specifically to facilitate the playing of the games. Each sheet was formatted to give visual cues that followed the procedures of the activities. The worksheets were self-explanatory and, for the Sentence formation and If-clause games, the worksheets gave sample answers. The learners were instructed to write
48 on the sheets and these sheets were collected at the end of the class to be analyzed at a later date. To obtain qualitative data concerning the effect of ludic activities on motivation and using word games, four students were selected to participate in a series of oral interviews immediately after the word game treatments. Two were chosen by their instructors by virtue of their good record of attendance. The other two were randomly approached after class and asked if they would agree to volunteer to be interviewed. They both agreed and each interviewee was offered $40, to be received at the end of the experiment for their participation, provided they took part in all four interviews. The interviews consisted of ten open-ended questions that sought to reveal the students perspective as to the usefulness of word games as a complement to a traditional SL pedagogy (appendix E). The content of the questions ranged from their own personal experiences and impressions during the games to how they felt their peers were reacting to the games. Of the four interview participants, two were male, two were female. Because of a scheduling conflict, expediency, and the desire to interview the participants as soon after the fact as possible, two were interviewed jointly (at the same time), while the other two were interviewed individually. Additionally, the instructors were interviewed after the experiment had been completed, to discern their impressions concerning the experiment, and to determine if, by having played the games, they might have altered their opinions concerning using word games in SL pedagogy (appendix E). The interview with the instructors consisted of 8 open-ended questions. For the sake of fluid discourse and the instructors comfort, the questions were translated into Spanish and the instructors were given the choice of being
49 interviewed in English or Spanish. Three instructors chose Spanish and one chose English. Given the difficulties concerning the time constraints of graduate students as teachers, it became problematic to arrange a time when all participating instructors could meet with me together. Therefore, two instructors were interviewed individually and two collectively. The instructors were remunerated $30 for the whole experiment; the lead instructor was given $50. All of the interview sessions were audio-taped to ensure an easy flow of discourse and to avoid losing or forgetting valuable information. All the data were later transcribed for analysis. Procedure The dates for the activities were chosen and deliberately spread out throughout the semester to allow the learners to experience a variety of activities with which to compare. It was also important to simulate what can be considered the most apt conditions for using these games under normal classroom conditions. These word games ought to be used sparingly and not too successively to make the best use of their potential in matters concerning motivation; if the games are overused, they would not alter nor vary the teaching methods, and they would not benefit from the novelty effect that may be motivating in and of itself. One characteristic of these types of activities is that they may effectively alter the pace of instruction; they also complement explicit treatment of grammatical features, preferably a posteriori. By playing a word game that makes use of a grammatical feature, the taking of turns and subsequent repetition of the feature allow for implicit treatment of the grammatical feature. It was also important to consider the rigorous schedule that second semester Spanish courses demand of the students, as well as to attend to the collective departmental goals. Of paramount importance was to implement the activities around the
50 academic schedule taking into account test dates, holidays, and other important dates. Consequently, the games were strategically allocated throughout the semester to achieve these goals. There were two weeks between the first and second game, four weeks between the second and third game, and two weeks between the third and fourth game. The Games As mentioned in the review of literature, three of the four games used in the experiment were developed by French Surrealist writers and artists. The first game, Alto, was the exception. Game one: Alto The first game played is called Alto halt. Of the four games used in the study, this is the only game that does not come from the collection of French Surrealist word games and the only one that does not rely on chance as a fundamental element of the outcome of the game. Alto is a vocabulary review game that is played competitively by groups of 3 to 5 students per team. Each group has a sheet of paper with the following five categories written on top: Verbo, Lugar, Adjetivo/Adverbio, Persona Famosa, Nombre (Verb, Place, Adjective/Adverb, Famous Person, Noun) One student participant in the group is designated the writer and spokesperson. All the other participants help the team by suggesting vocabulary entries that fit into each of the categories. It was left up to the instructors discretion whether or not the learners used their textbook during the game, or whether they used memory to recall the vocabulary. In the study, all of the teachers opted to have the texts open. Those are variations of the game that a teacher may use at her/his discretion. If the teacher feels that the level of vocabulary retention of the learners is very low, and the learners may feel more comfortable using the textbooks, then, to lower the level of stress or frustration, the
51 learners may prefer to use them. On the other hand, if the teacher feels that the learners may benefit more from a challenging activity, s/he may choose to have the learners use recall only. The object of the game is to fill in each category with a word that begins with any given letter that the instructor chooses and writes on the board. The team that fills in the categories the fastest yells the word ALTO to alert the other groups that they must stop writing at that moment. Each groups spokesperson is then asked to repeat the answers to the categories one at a time to determine the scoring of the game. The group that has an original answer, meaning an answer that no other group has, for a given category, gets two points for it. Groups that have the same answer for a given category get one point. No points are awarded when a team leaves a category empty. Speed is of the essence in this game and the game becomes increasingly competitive as each group attempts to fill in the categories faster than the other groups. The words provided by the learners must be Spanish words, preferably recently covered material. In the case of Famous Person, it must be Hispanic or someone closely related to a Hispanic person (Lucille Ball for example is acceptable since she was married to Cuban Desi Arnaz). The place can be geographical, in which case it must be a place in Latin America: (e.g., Costa Rica), Spain: (e.g., Madrid), or a place with a Spanish name: (e.g., San Francisco, Nevada, Colorado). A place may also be a location like a park (the beach, a church, etc). Other potential places may include bathroom, closet, garage, and others. When writing a place or the name of a famous person, the student may choose the first letter of the first name or the first letter of the last name. Carlos Santana can be used for both C and S; San Francisco may be used for both S and F.
52 Instructors encouraged the learners to conjugate the verbs into the tense being studied at the time that the game was played. When the game was played for the study, the learners were studying the imperfect verb tense. Thus, the learners were asked to use that form to fill in the verb category. The verbs varied as far as the person and the number. To facilitate the task and to make efficient use of the class time, the teachers had the categories on the board before the game began and s/he played one round as an instructional device and gave the rules of the game as s/he completed the sample exercise. S/he explained the rules carefully and asked for questions for clarification purposes. Thus, the teacher might choose the letter B and write it on the board. The learners may have the following entries Verbo Lugar Adjetivo/Adverbio Persona Famosa Nombre (Verb Place Adjective/Adverb Famous Person Thing) BAILABAN BAO BONITA BENITO Juarez BALON (they danced) (bathroom) (pretty) (ball) (Santa BARBARA) (Wilfredo BENITEZ) After each round is played, the spokespersons of the groups repeat the answers and keeps track of their own score. After the game is played, the learners competitive drive and spirit is usually quite evident when the final tally is read out loud; in the case of the experiment, several students were overheard asking for a rematch. The letters were chosen randomly by the teacher, so there was no uniformity in the games with respect to
53 the letters used. Given the fact that the students had twenty minutes to play, the games were limited to about five rounds per class. The ludic factor is generated by lively competition and by unexpected or obscure answers. For example, in the category of famous person, entries such as Cheech and Chong are greeted by great laughter, and in fact, learners realize that some celebrities whom they had never before suspected, were Hispanic. At times, learners will give an answer that is made up, in their minds, but that they feel might get them credit. They will say: Jos Hernandez, knowing that those names are very common, but playing the odds that there may be a Jos Hernandez who is famous in the Hispanic world. When asked to justify the answer, they bluff by saying something like: You know, Jos Hernandez, the famous guy. Sometimes, humor is generated by having the same answer repeated, over and over, by the different teams. Of the four games, this is the liveliest in the sense of the students active participation, competition, noise level, and the festive atmosphere that it creates. Game Two: Qu es? (What is?) Qu es? (What is?) is a French Surrealist activity that depends on chance as a fundamental factor in the outcome of each game. It is also a collaborative exercise, a feature of many of the Surrealist word games. Ideally, the game is played in pairs, each pair engaging in various turns before the partners are changed. In the experimental classes, the learners were put into pairs. Each pair was placed in a group of four pairs to share their production and to determine which pair, within the group, had constructed the most interesting combination of question answer. Learners are usually asked to supply a sheet of paper in which to write a What is? type question. They can write any question they wish within that parameter: What is love? What is a
54 tree? What is chocolate? For the study, I prepared a sheet of paper for each pair to use in the game. The sheet in question was separated into three spaces for three turns at play. Each space had a dotted line for folding over the sheet (appendix D) In the game, each individual wrote a question and folded the paper over so as to conceal the question from her/his partner. The partner received the folded paper while, in turn, giving over her/his question to his classmate. Without revealing the questions, the learners were asked to invent a random answer to a What is? type question and to write it on the paper that s/he had received from her/his partner. This is to be done without knowing what the question is. Once both members of the pairs were finished, the papers were unfolded and question answer were read out loud to each other. The learners decided which tandem of the two (question-answer) was best and it was read to the group of four pairs. In general, the best tandem can be determined by virtue of the image it evokes, the logical nature of the result, the surreal quality, or the grammaticality of the question-answer. From all the pairs, one tandem was chosen to be written on the board for the whole class to enjoy and analyze. Special attention was given to content and grammaticality of the tandem, with the help of the instructor, as a collective class exercise. Since these games were used by the Surrealists to create surrealistic or metaphorical images, the instructor was encouraged to exploit any potential result that may qualify therein; this can be done by walking around the room while the learners are reading or sharing their production. Sometimes, metaphorical connections need to be brought to the learners attention by repeating out loud or writing on the board examples that may have been misunderstood or bypassed by the learners.
55 Two examples that were generated in a class for the study are as follows 1) Qu es un caballo? Es un coche grande y azul. (What is a horse? It is a big, blue car.) Here the horse can be seen as a metaphor for a car. 2) Qu es tu libro favorito? Es la palabras de mi novio. (What is your favorite book? It is my boyfriends words.) A boyfriends words can be envisioned as what a favorite book may be for someone. There were also examples that played on association of ideas. A good example was 3) Qu es tu novio? Es una furiosa madre. (What is your boyfriend? Its a furious mother.) This kind of association can lend itself to cultural interpretations and to cultural generalizations. In the example above, a short discussion may ensue about the overprotective Latin parent. This type of answer may also serve for discussion on cultural differences that dictate issues such as overriding cultural values. Whereas self-reliance and independence are important cultural values in the mainstream Anglo culture of the United States, an important cultural value in most Hispanic environments is family unity. Thus, an overprotective, guarded, mother or father who sees a boyfriend as an intrusion or a negative influence is valuable information that can be gleaned from examples such as the one above. This game will also yield semantically comprehensible tandems that are conceptually absurd. One tandem that was written in the experiment is a good example 4) Qu es espaol? Es la nariz de un elefante. (What is Spanish? It is the nose of an elephant.)
56 The above example is absurd and yields no possible conceptual interpretation, literal or figurative. However, the image that this type of answer evokes is readily comprehensible and humorous for most second semester Spanish learners at the university level. The sentences that are written on the board may be chosen for being logical; in other words, they make sense and they are grammatical. Or, they may be chosen for being the most creative: they are surreal or metaphorical. The instructor questions the grammaticality of the sentences by repeating those on the board that may have problems with agreement, for instance. In the second example above, the instructor would read the answer and raise his voice (and eyebrows) when reading ES and LA. This is a form of input enhancement that allows the students to find the errors, on their own. The student who originally wrote the sentence should return to the board to correct her/his error. It is easy to see how this type of word game would derive its ludic element: the random nature of the tandems, and the potential for creating bizarre, curious, funny or outrageous tandems. Learners themselves do not waste opportunities to exploit tandems that give way to ambiguous interpretations or interpretations of a dubious nature, usually dealing with sexuality. This example is a case in point and one that provoked that kind of reaction Qu es un guapo hombre? Es una cama grande. (What is a handsome man? It is a large bed.) Other tandems provoked laughter for similar reasons but for images created that seemed humorous to the students Qu es tu favorito pasatiempo? Es un chico gordo. (What is your favorite pastime? It is a fat guy.)
57 On several occasions, the instructors were able to review the difference between QUE ES (what is) and CUAL ES (which is) as a direct result of the learners output during the games. Game Three: The Sentence Formation Game The third game in the study was the Sentence Formation game. This too was a game played by the Surrealists and, likewise, depended on chance to determine the outcome. This collaborative exercise involved groups of five participants, who collaborated on the construction of a specific type of Spanish sentence, broken down into five syntactical structures. Before the game began, the instructor wrote a sentence on the board that resembled this one El chico estudioso llev un libro a la playa. (The studious boy took a book to the beach.) The instructor then explained to the class that this sentence may be broken down into the these five categories or structures: 1) Subject noun with determiner: El chico (the boy); 2) Adjective that modifies the noun: estudioso (studious); 3) Transitive verb: llev (took), 4) Noun with determiner as direct object: un libro (a book); 5) Prepositional phrase: a la playa (to the beach). During the explanation of the sentence, the instructor pointed out the fact that the determiners could be articles, numbers, or possessives. The learners were also told that the transitive verb could be in any tense of their choosing and that it may be singular or plural. The rules of the game stipulate that each group of learners compose a complete sentence, with each learner supplying one of the five syntactical structures in its respective obligatory environment. Each group was given a sheet that had the categories written down the left margin. The sheet included examples of each of the elements of the
58 sentence for the learners to use or to follow. The first learner supplied the noun as subject of the sentence and then s/he folded the paper to conceal the content. The second learner supplied an adjective at random, folded the paper and passed it to the third learner and so on. After the fifth learner supplied the last element, the prepositional phrase, s/he went to the board to write the sentence. Naturally, the sentences were filled with grammatical errors, most of which were errors of agreement. Individual members of the groups were allowed to come up to the board to correct any ungrammaticality in the sentences. Once everyone was satisfied with the sentences, the instructor reviewed them out loud and asked the class at large if in fact the sentences were grammatical. Any last minute corrections were made then, in the presence of the whole class. It was also determined whether or not the sentences made sense or whether they were illogical. An element of competition was added to this game by awarding a point to the group that finished its sentence first. An additional point was awarded to the best sentence. It was left to the discretion of the instructors whether the vote was solely that of the instructors or if it was to be a democratic vote. The Sentence Formation game yielded many opportunities to review problems with subject / verb, gender and number agreement. The students also reviewed metalinguistic terms like transitive verb, direct object, and others. In fact, some students mentioned that they had never heard of the term transitive verb until the word game activity. There was also much laughter as a result of the original sentences before any correction was undertaken. An example was El diablo bonita estudi el gato a la playa. (The pretty-fem. devil-masc. studied the cat to the beach)
59 Examples such as the one above were comprehensible to the learners yet conceptually bizarre or illogical. The learners found them to be quite humorous. Other sentences were more logical but equally entertaining La esposa gordo comi un perro en el parque. (The fat-masc. wife ate a dog in the park.) The game provided approximately four turns per group. Each time a group played a round, the sheet of paper was rotated so that the next sentence was started by a different participant to give each of them an opportunity to provide a different structure for each turn of play. Since the learners were competing for points by completing the sentences first, they had to provide their elements quickly. Naturally, the sentences were written on the board by a different participant after each turn of play. Game Four: The If-clause Game The If-clause game was played the last week of school and this timing coincided with the conditional clauses being covered in the textbook by the classes. This corresponded to the only experience, during the experiment, where the learners played a game that featured a grammatical structure that was being learned and reviewed at the time of the activity. Unfortunately, however, not all of the instructors were maintaining the same pace, and in two classes the learners had not yet seen the conditional constructions featured in the game. However, based on some of the answers on the questionnaires after the game was played, a few learners in those classes expressed positive feelings about using the game to cover the material. The rules of The If-clause game as it was intended to be played by the Surrealists call for two participants to create, in tandem, a conditional sentence by each supplying random clauses. One participant writes the protasis, if-clause, while the other participant
60 is writing the apodosis, the resultant clause. This process is done without either participants knowledge of what the other is writing. Therefore, you may have one participant writing: Si yo fuera hombre (If I were a man,) while the other participant, at the same time, may be creating the following: comera con una cerveza en mi mano derecha. (I would eat with a beer in my right hand). The participants would then read each clause out loud and try to make sense of them: Si yo fuera hombre, comera con una cerveza en mi mano derecha (If I were a man, I would eat with a beer in my right hand). This sentence is an actual example of one of the games in the study. Chance will determine if there is a logical meaning to the sentence. Sometimes a creative or bizarre meaning emerges to the delight of the participants: Si yo fuera una blanca vaca, yo ira a Afghanistan (If I were a white cow, I would go to Afghanistan); or, Si yo tuviera una blanca vaca, yo respirara agua (If I had a white cow, I would breathe water). These two sentences were also actual examples from the experiment. Most sentences were composed with basic vocabulary and they yielded humorous examples. An example was: Si yo fuera una chica bonita, sera el presidente de los Estados Unidos (If I were a pretty girl, I would be the president of the United States). Although the game is designed by the Surrealists to be played in pairs, I chose to implement the activity differently. To maximize the opportunities for reiteration of the grammatical forms, these clauses were used in a repetitive manner. Therefore, the learners worked in groups of 5. Three of the classes were learning the contrary to fact in the present conditional sentences, so they had to compose sentences with the verb in the imperfect subjunctive in the if-clause and verbs in the conditional in the resultant clause.
61 The learners were handed out sheets that gave examples of the type of clauses that they needed to write. Four sheets were to be used for the apodosis, the resultant clause. One sheet was to be used to write an example of the protasis, the if-clause. The groups were instructed to have one if-clause to be composed by one participant at the same time that four resultant clauses were being composed by the remaining group members. The author of the if-clause then read the clause four different times, each time facing a different group member. At that time, the group member being singled out said her/his resultant clause. Finally, they would decide which combination was the most interesting and that example went up on the blackboard. Since most classes had an average of about 20 students, there might be four examples to analyze and correct as a class activity. The instructor served as facilitator and the learners were encouraged to find the mistakes in the sentences. Most of the mistakes were verb conjugation problems. Each time the game was played, the sheets circulated so that each participant had the opportunity to compose both types of clauses. Since the learners played at least five rounds, each was able to write one protasis (if clause with the imperfect subjunctive tense) and four apodoses (the resultant clause with the conditional tense). By repeating these sentences out loud, the learners were able to hear the use of the verb conjugations four or five times per game. Again, the competitive element was introduced to the game by awarding a point to the best sentence. Upon having them read out loud to the class, the learners voted and chose the best sentences themselves. In some cases, the sentences were chosen because they made sense and there were no problems with grammaticality. In other cases, the sentences were chosen because of their creative or bizarre content. An example of one of the games by group follows
62 Protasis: Si durmiera en su coche esta noche, (If I/he/she slept in his/her/your car tonight,) Apodosis: -hablara con los padres de mi novio. I (he, she) would speak with my boyfriends parents. -dormira la siesta en la playa. I (he, she) would sleep a siesta at the beach. -comprara ropa interior. I (he, she)would buy underwear. -bailara en el bao. I (he, she) would dance in the bathroom. The tandem that was chosen by the group as the best was Si durmiera en su coche esta noche, hablara con los padre de mi novio. If (I/he/she) slept in his/her/your car tonight, (I/he/she) would speak to my boyfriends parents. In jest, some of the students in the group quipped that there would be some explanation needed to the parents. In the case of several sentences of this type, much discussion ensued about the ambiguous nature of Spanishs Pro-drop feature. For example, the first clause could be interpreted as: If I, If he, If she, If you formal as the subject. The subject of the second clause presents similar possibilities. Also, the possessive SU (coche) could be interpreted as his, her, your (formal), singular and plural. After this phenomenon was discussed, many learners began to compose clauses with explicit subjects. All the games in the experiment were played in the second half of the class and the learners finished the class period by filling out the word game questionnaires. Immediately after each game was played, the primary researcher proceeded to interview the four participants who had agreed to be orally interviewed for the experiment in vacant classrooms nearby.
63 Control Groups As previously mentioned, while the experimental groups were engaged in the word game activities, the control groups were to be involved in uniform activities proposed by one of the participating instructors. This proved to be much more problematic than had been anticipated. For one thing, for the first game of the experiment, a misunderstanding by the other three instructors prevented them from undertaking the same lesson plan for the time allotted for the experiment. Therefore, the four instructors varied their lessons significantly. What three of the four instructors did do similarly was to play a song (twice) for the learners. The second time the song was played, the learners had to fill in a Cloze passage of the song. All three songs were different in the different classes. Another problem that may ultimately have an effect on the responses of the class activities is that while the learners were engaged in specific activities during the half of the class allotted for the experiment, the other half of the class was left to the discretion of the instructor to do whatever s/he wanted to do. In one instance, the control group engaged in playing a game that was very similar to one of the games in the experiment. When asked, the instructor said that the game had been modified significantly so that the two classes could not have engaged in the same activity. Yet, the control group did engage in playing a game on the day that the experimental group was playing a game. The instructors were asked to do a specific activity of supplementary materials on the date of the second game, although again, the activities varied from instructor to instructor. For the third date, the instructors showed a short video segment. In it, two women discuss the pregnancy of one of them and the implications of how life would change for her and for her family. The instructors wrote five questions concerning the video and had the students read them before showing the video. After viewing the video
64 two to three times, the instructor discussed the questions with the students. The last day of the experiment for the control group, the learners were given a dictation exercise. The dictation consisted of five questions with contrary-to-fact conditional if clauses. After writing the questions, the learners were to answer them in writing and they reviewed their answers in unison. The instructor then personalized the information of the original questions by asking the students to answer those questions for themselves, in a one-to-one conversation practice exercise. Analysis of the Data Quantitative Analysis Recall that the participants in the study were asked to fill out two pre-game questionnaires. One questionnaire (appendix A) was a personality profile that elicited information to be used for determining the different variables for analysis. Among them were: gender, academic classification, years of previous Spanish learning in academic settings, and reason for taking the course (choice or academic requirement). The second questionnaire (appendix B) was a 20-item form that elicited information concerning their attitudes about their Spanish class. The 20 items had a Likert-type, 5 point multiple choice answer that ranged as follows 1: I strongly agree; 2: I agree; 3: I neither agree nor disagree; 4: I disagree; 5: I strongly disagree. The questionnaire also included an open-ended question that elicited their impressions as to what they would enjoy the most about the course. They were asked to elaborate on the answer if they were inclined to. An identical questionnaire to the pre-game questionnaire was given to the learners at the end of the experiment (appendix B), but this questionnaire elicited information about what they did enjoy about the course a posteriori. Again, the questionnaire ended with an open-ended question that asked the students to elaborate on their impressions.
65 In between these questionnaires, the learners were asked to fill out 18 item questionnaires about the activities on the days of each game (appendix C). These questionnaires were identical and asked specific information about the learners experience for the day in which they engaged in the experimental activities. The 18 items were also Likert-type, 5 point questions that also ranged from 1:I strongly agree, to 5: I strongly disagree. Additional information was elicited by an open-ended question that asked the learners to provide their impressions on the activities of the day. The data gathered in these questionnaires were compiled and submitted to a factor analysis. To test for significance on independent variables, a regression analysis was conducted as well. Qualitative Analysis As noted in chapter one, a qualitative analysis of the study was performed by interviewing four participating students from the experimental group. The four student participants were chosen from three different classes. Every attempt was made to make the selection process as objective as possible. I did not want to ask for volunteers in a public manner because that may have resulted in only highly motivated learners stepping forth to participate. Therefore, I asked two teachers to point to students whom they felt would be diligent in coming to class. I did not want to risk the possibility of having participants who missed class on a regular basis and who could then miss class on the days of the experiment. When two students were singled-out by the teachers, I simply approached them after class and explained to them my desire to interview them after the games were played. I told them that their answers would be recorded, that their identity would be kept confidential, and that they would earn 40 dollars at the end of the process, provided they participated in each of the interviews. The learners agreed and we made
66 plans to meet in an empty classroom immediately after the class in which the experiment was conducted. The other two participants were chosen at random. On the first orientation meeting with the classes in which I explained the procedure for the experiment and had the learners fill out the personal profile questionnaire, I approached two students who were talking at the end of the class and asked them if they were interested in participating in the interview process. The learners agreed and I told them that I would interview them jointly immediately after the class. They agreed and the four participants were thus selected. The interview consisted of ten questions that elicited information about their impression of the games played in the experiment (appendix E). The same questionnaire was used for the four games played. The students were interviewed immediately after the class in which the game was played. Two students were interviewed individually and two collectively. The students data were recorded and transcribed for analysis. To insure anonymity, they were assigned a code name for identification. Henceforth, the students will be identified as S1, S2, S3, and S4. Another process was undertaken to glean qualitative data from the participating teachers. I interviewed them once, at the end of the experiment. As as result of circumstance and time restraints on the teachers, I could not interview all the teachers individually nor collectively. Just as I had done in the case of the learners interviews, I interviewed two teachers individually, and two collectively. Their data were tape-recorded and transcribed for analysis. The questionnaires used for the interviews (appendix E) were 8 item questionnaires that elicited information concerning their impressions of playing word games in the experiment and their opinions on using word
67 games in pedagogy. By using a similar process as that of the learners, the teachers were also assigned codes for identification to insure anonymity. Henceforth, they will be identified as T1, T2, T3, and T4.
CHAPTER 4 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Introduction In this chapter, I present the results of the data analysis both from quantitative and qualitative perspectives. The quantitative analysis is done by game and in the order in which they were played. I also focus on specific questions from the word game questionnaires. This quantitative data results section is followed by a brief discussion section. In the discussion section, I analyze the results of the quantitative data based on the five hypotheses stated in Chapter 2. The qualitative analysis is carried out within the framework of the hypotheses; It is also divided into student data analysis and teacher data analysis. Finally, I analyze the data of an open-ended question that the learners answered in the initial motivation questionnaire at the beginning of the experiment, and compare the results to that of the data of a very similar open-ended question that the learners answered when they completed their motivation questionnaire at the end of the experiment. The qualitative data analysis section will also be followed by a brief discussion section. I seek to determine to what degree, if to any, the data results substantiate or support the hypotheses that motivated this study. Of particular interest are results that yield information concerning the effects of word games on learner motivation, peer relationships, learner-teacher relationships, and activities that the learners enjoy and dont enjoy in the foreign-language classroom. 68
69 Quantitative Analysis Quantitative data, obtained from the participants answers to the post-game questionnaires (appendix C), were analyzed by means of a factor analysis. This factor analysis was based on five different variables. The variables were: Group (with two levels: experimental group and control group); Gender (with two levels: males and females); Choice (with three levels: students who took the course for pleasure, students who took the course to fulfill an academic requirement, and students who took the course for both pleasure and academic requirement); Year (with four levels: Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors); Experience (with three levels: students who had taken one year of high school Spanish prior to taking Spanish at the University of Florida, students who had taken two years, and students who had taken three years). The information needed to categorize the variables was gleaned from the personal data information questionnaire that the learners completed on the first meeting of the experiment (appendix A). Game One: Alto The findings of the factor analysis and subsequent regression analysis identified the variable Group as the only factor with a significant statistical difference in the results of the data analysis (t = -21, p = .000). Four components emerged as significant. The description of results found below will deal exclusively with component 1, the most significant. The control group, for the first activity of the experiment, used a song to complement a Cloze passage in three of the four sections that formed the control group. The fourth section of the control group was completing cultural presentations based of different South American countries.
70 The questions identified as significant in component one were questions 1, 2, 3, 9, 10, 11, 12. These items have a common thread and can be categorized as identifying the purely ludic aspect of the activity in the questionnaire. Three of the questions were related as exact opposite to three others within the group, while one of the questions remained isolated. Question 1 was related to question 9, for the experimental group: I enjoyed playing the Alto game in class versus I did not enjoy playing the Alto game in class. For the control group: I enjoyed the activities in class today versus I did not enjoy the activities in class today. Question 2 and question 10 were opposites: The Alto game (activity today) was boring as opposed to fun. Question 3: I sensed that my classmates enjoyed the Alto game (activity today) had its opposite in number 12. The remaining question, in isolation, was number 11: I would like to play the Alto game (repeat todays activities) in class again. Table 4-1 shows the statistical results of the above-mentioned questions Table 4-1. Group means and standard deviations for selected questions about the Alto game concerning the ludic aspect of the game. Q1 Q2 Q3 Q9 Q10 Q11 Q12 Group Mean 1.33 4.67 1.44 4.69 1.28 1.41 4.56 Experimental SD .64 .64 .56 .89 .45 .71 .71 Mean 1.83 4.19 1.87 4.15 1.93 2.22 4.04 Control SD .97 .78 .80 1.0 .74 .95 .79 With a range of 1-5 on the questionnaires, 1 being I strongly agree, and 5 being I strongly disagree, we can appreciate that the participants in both groups, experimental and control, produced similar scores in these questions in spite of showing a statistical difference. We must bear in mind that the questions sometimes present opposite views
71 and while on one question a score of 1 will reflect a high score, the same information and score will be gleaned from another question that yields a score of 5. Therefore, on question 1, it is evident that both groups enjoyed the activities that day. However, the experimental group approved of the game more than the control group approved of its activity on that day by 0.50 points. The same information is gleaned from question 9, the exact opposite of question 1, where the experimental group scored a 4.69 and the experimental group garnered a 4.15. Here the difference is of 0.54. The widest discrepancy comes from question 11 whose answers yielded a difference of 0.81 points, meaning that, although both groups would like to engage in the activity again, the experimental group wanted to play the game more than the control group wanted to repeat the activity of that day. The findings of the data for the first game suggest that the Alto game proved to be a more successful activity than the activity engaged in by the control group. Based on the learner responses for all the questions that were identified as being significantly different between the experimental and the control groups, evidence shows that the game was particularly successful in the areas of degree of fun and perception of how much the classmates enjoyed the game. Game Two: Qu es? The data for game two yields totally different results from the first game except that Group again emerged as the only factor with a statistical difference in the responses (t = -13, p = .000). The questions were divided into three components. The discussion of results will focus on component 1. Component 1 identified questions 3, 6, 9, 12, 13, 15, and 17 as yielding a significant difference between the experimental group and the
72 control group. We can label these components as learner perception of the games ludic value and pedagogic effectiveness. Questions 3 and 12 correlate as direct opposites: I sensed (I dont think) my classmates enjoyed the Qu es? game. The other questions vary in their focal point. Question 6 states: The Qu es? game is an effective learning tool. Question 9 is: I did not enjoy playing the Qu es? game. Question 13 says: Games create a positive environment in my Spanish class. Question 15 adds: The Qu es? game was a waste of my time. And finally, question 17 notes: Games should be an integral part of the curriculum of this class. Table 4-2 shows the statistical results of those questions Table 4-2. Group means and standard deviations for selected questions about the Qu es? game. Q3 Q6 Q9 Q12 Q13 Q15 Q17 Group Mean 4.50 1.58 1.61 2.19 3.66 3.77 4.00 Experimental SD .64 .69 .73 .94 1.2 1.4 .94 Mean 1.67 3.98 3.24 3.93 2.63 2.41 2.66 Control SD .75 .88 .93 .75 1.1 .90 .99 The evidence shows that the learners in the experimental group felt that their peers did not enjoy the Qu es? Game. On the other hand, the learners of the control group felt that their peers enjoyed the activity of that day, which was to work from a worksheet on supplementary material. The experimental group scored question 3 with a 4.50 out of 5 in the range of strongly disagree. The control group scored the same question with a 1.67. Two possible interpretations for this result are: 1) that the game was indeed boring or ineffective in the eyes of the learners; and/or, 2) the learners may have been comparing this game with the first game which was a more successful activity (it scored 1.44 on the
73 same question 3). The qualitative analysis of this game will bear some evidence of this possibility; learners and teachers respondents asserted that the first game was comparatively more fun than the other games. The expectations of the degree of fun were raised by the first game and were never met by the Qu es? game. A surprising finding, given the scores in general on the questions at hand, is that the experimental group gave question 6 a score that shows a positive reaction to the effectiveness of the game (1.58) and it compared very favorably against the control group on that same question: (3.98). These results indicate that the experimental group found the Qu es? game to be a very effective learning tool yet did not seem to enjoy playing it. Question 9 bears this result out. The scores for question 9 (I did not enjoy playing the Qu es? game/ I did not enjoy the activity of the day) were: 1.61 for the experimental group and 3.24 for the control group (thus, making obvious the fact that the learners did not enjoy the game). The same type of discrepancy emerges concerning answers for question 12 on the issue of perception of peer enjoyment of the game / exercise. The learners of the experimental group scored a 2.19 on their perception of how little their peers enjoyed the activity. The score indicates that the learners leaned towards the notion that their peers did not enjoy the game. My personal observations of the activity on that day were that the learners did not enjoy the game as much as they had the first game and, more importantly, three of the four teachers reported to me that the learners had expressed their lack of enthusiasm for the game because they did not see a practical application of the game to what they had been covering in class. Learners seem to take a practical approach to pedagogical practices in that they favor activities that prepare them for either language
74 production or for success in test results. Participating in a ludic activity for the fun of it is not a worthy academic exercise. Another interesting contradiction is seen in the results for question 15 concerning whether or not the game / activity had been a waste of time for the learners. The experimental group scored this question 3.77 which was higher than the 3.14 score for the control group. This score indicates that the experimental group learners did not think that the game was a waste of their time slightly more, yet significantly so, than the control group thought that their activity had been a waste of their time. This answer implies that the learners found some value to playing the game. However, it may not have been timely. This game may not have seemed to have been preparing the learners to achieve specific academic goals. Perhaps the Qu es? game might have gained favor with the learners had they been reviewing interrogatives, and perhaps more if they have been learning the difference between qu es? and cul es? Finally, the learners manifested their belief that games should not be an integral part of the curriculum by giving question 17 (games should be an integral part of the curriculum in this class) a score of 4.00 (I disagree). This poses an interesting contradiction given the fact that, on the one hand the learners find the activity to be worthwhile, and, effective, yet on the other hand, they report that the activity should not be an integral part of the curriculum, and they didnt enjoy it. Game Three: Sentence Formation The Sentence Formation game yielded similar results as those found for game two. Group was a significant factor again for this game (t = -15, p = .000). The factor analysis identified 7 questions in component one as being significant between the experimental group and the control group. The seven questions were identical to the questions that
75 were significant for game two: Qu es? Therefore, we may label them as we did the items for game two: learner perception of the games ludic value and pedagogic effectiveness. The results indicate that the learners did not enjoy playing the game, and felt that their peers did not enjoy playing the game, by virtue of scores of 4.56 to question 3 (I sensed that my classmates enjoyed the Sentence Formation game) and 1.92 on question 9 (I did not enjoy playing the Sentence Formation game), yet they did feel that the game was an effective learning tool. Question 6 (The Sentence Formation game is an effective learning tool) got a score of 1.55. These scores were significantly different from the scores of the control group who scored 1.74 for question 3, 3.35 for question 9, and 3.70 on question 6. This constitutes a difference of 2.82 for question 3; 2.15 for question 6; and 1.43 for question 9. The control group viewed a short video and discussed with the teacher the content of the video focusing on 5 questions that had been written on the board, prior to viewing, to prepare the learners for the discussion. Table 4-3 summarizes the scores for the questions that were significant for the Sentence Formation game Table 4-3. Group means and standard deviations for selected questions about the Sentence Formation game. Q3 Q6 Q9 Q12 Q13 Q15 Q17 Group Mean 4.55 1.61 1.78 2.22 3.73 4.30 4.14 Experimental SD .53 .72 1.0 1.0 1.2 .93 .94 Mean 1.67 3.96 3.35 3.87 2.50 2.33 2.11 Control SD .80 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.1 1.0 1.0 The scores also indicate that the learners strongly believed that the Sentence Formation game was not a waste of their time (4.20 score for question 15). Yet, they
76 believed that word games should not be an integral part of the curriculum of the class (4.27 score for question 17). The learners recognition that the game was not a waste of their time is, perhaps, indicative of the value they place on an activity that helps them review material or learn new material in spite of fact that the activity was not fun. The evidence suggests that, while the learners favor using word games as learning tools, the games must conform more closely to their language learning goals before they endorse more vigorously using word games in the classroom. The learners appear to be expressing a desire to use activities in the class that are more closely tied to the material being covered at the time. Playing a game for the sake of playing a game or altering the pace of the class does not seem to appeal to the participants in the study. This is an important point that teachers may want to consider carefully before introducing games into their lesson plans. Game Four: The If-clause Game For game four, the same questions surfaced as showing a significant difference between the experimental and the control groups as that of the previous two games (t = -14, p = .000). The results are similar for the last three games, thus, a pattern has emerged in the quantitative analysis of the data for the last three games of the experiment. Again, we can label this component as learner perception of the games ludic value and pedagogic effectiveness. The evidence indicates that the control group enjoyed the activity that was done on that particular day more than the experimental group enjoyed playing the If-clause game (on the day of the experiment, the control group did a dictation exercise of 5 questions using contrary to fact constructions. After the dictation, the learners answered the questions in writing and later discussed them in unison with the teacher). In addition, the
77 participants in the control group felt that their peers enjoyed themselves on the day of the experiment more than the learners of the experimental group felt their classmates enjoyed playing the If-clause game. The mean scores for question 3: I sensed that my classmates enjoyed the If-clause game (activity of that day) were 4.55 for the experimental group and 1.67 for the control group. The statistical difference is very robust. The perception here is that the experimental group learners did not think that their peers enjoyed the games at all. Table 4-4 summarizes the mean scores and the standard deviation for the questions that were significantly different between the experimental and the control groups Table 4-4. Group means and standard deviations for selected questions about the If-clause game. Q3 Q6 Q9 Q12 Q13 Q15 Q17 Group Mean 4.56 1.55 1.92 2.19 3.83 4.20 4.27 Experimental SD .56 .53 .73 1.0 1.1 .98 .76 Mean 1.74 3.70 3.24 3.35 2.3 2.43 2.54 Control SD .89 1.2 .93 1.1 1.0 .92 1.1 Contradictory data is evidenced, however, by the mean scores on question 6: The If-clause game (The activity today) is an effective learning tool, and question 15: The If-clause game (The activity today) was a waste of my time. The experimental group mean score for 6 was 1.61 while the control group means score for the same item was 3.96. This clearly indicates the fact that the learners felt that the game was a worthy activity. The scores for question 15 further confuse the issue as the experimental group scored 4.30 for that question while the control group only scored a 2.33. These results say that the learners of the experimental group did not see the activity as a waste of their time and
78 the learners of the control group were ambiguous at best as to whether or not they saw the activity of that day as a waste of their time. Again, by virtue of the score on question 17, the learners of the experimental group expressed their belief that games should not be an integral part of the curriculum. Analysis of Isolated Questions by Group A preliminary analysis of the results of the factor analysis and regression gives the reader a negative impression concerning the use of word games in the classroom for games 2, 3, and 4, at least relative to the activities that the control group engaged in on the day of the experiment. An important contention that I advance is that word games (in particular) and ludic activities (in general) would be favored by students over more traditional activities that rely on drill and practice of specific grammatical forms. With this in mind, I analyzed the means of individual questions of the different games and compared the mean score of these questions using the groups, experimental and control, as the grounds for comparison. These questions did not emerge as significantly different statistically in the prior analysis, so we can assume that the scores between the two groups were very similar whether they agreed or disagreed with a given question. The picture that emerges sheds a different light on the use of word games in the classroom, rendering the games more palatable to the learners. Yet, we cannot ignore the negative results that are also evident in the data. I will later discuss additional evidence that shed a negative light on the use of word games in the classroom. Although the data showed that the learners did not sense that their peers enjoyed playing games 2, 3 and 4 as reflected on the scores for question 3 (I sensed that my classmates enjoyed the________game): 4.50, 4.56, and 4.55 respectively, the scores for
79 question 1 (I enjoyed playing the_______game) indicate that the learners enjoyed the activity for themselves while sensing that their peers did not enjoy it. The mean scores for question 1 are summarized in Table 4-5. Table 4-5. Mean scores for question 1 (Q1) by games. Alto Qu es? Sentence formation If-clause Group Mean 1.33 2.19 1.84 1.61 Experimental SD .64 1.0 .90 .80 Mean 1.83 2.31 2.04 2.02 Control SD .97 .97 1.0 1.0 It was determined that the first game, Alto, was the most successful based on data analysis. Looking at the scores for the other three games, for question 1, the second game, Qu es?, registered a 2.19. It had also been established that the second game was the least successful. Yet, a score of 2.19 is a mild endorsement for the use of the game. At least we can conclude that the learners enjoyed playing the game in class. The data indicates that the scores improved over the next two games: 1.84 for game three and 1.61 for game four. It is indeed puzzling how students can unequivocally state that they enjoyed using the games in the classroom by virtue of their scores, yet, they strongly indicate that they did not sense that their peers enjoyed playing the games. One possible interpretation is that the learners, while enjoying the activity themselves, may not have noticed whether other students did and manifested as much by registering a score that indicates that they did not agree that their peers had enjoyed the game. The data also reveal that the scores for question 1 were more positive for the experimental group than for the control group, suggesting that the learners of the
80 experimental group may have enjoyed their games slightly more than the control group enjoyed their activities. However, this observation is purely descriptive and does not carry the statistical weight of the results reported earlier. One of the surprising findings discussed in relation to the factor analysis and subsequent regression analysis was that the learners in the experimental group had registered negative scores concerning their enjoyment of the games while giving relatively positive scores for question 6 (The ________ game was an effective learning tool). If we isolate questions that ask the learners to rate the games practical and functional purposes, we can see that the games are perceived by the learners as being very valuable to their learning of the language. Questions 5 (Some games can help me learn vocabulary), 6 (The ________ game was an effective learning tool), and 18 (Some games can help me learn grammar) reveal important findings. The data reveal that the learners perceive using these games as beneficial to learning a second language. Surprisingly, the learners found game 3 (Sentence Formation game) as the most effective game for learning vocabulary, this can be seen by the score of 1.42 on question 5. I had anticipated game 1 to yield the better results since game 1 (Alto) is essentially a vocabulary game. At 1.66, Alto registered the least positive of the games on vocabulary (the high score for the Sentence Formation game on the issue of vocabulary may reflect the learners positive view of revisiting metalinguistic terms like noun as subject / direct object, transitive verbs, adjectives / adverbs, etc.). Not surprisingly, by virtue of the score of 1.64 on question 18 (Some games can help me learn grammar), game 4 (The If-clause game) was deemed most effective for learning grammar. This is in part the result of the games emphasis on syntax and
81 morphology, but more significantly, it is also the only game that was played at a time that the classes were learning the subject matter of the game: the conditional if-clauses in sentences. Some learners reported in the qualitative data that this game helped them to review and learn the sequence of clauses in the conditional sentences. Table 4-6 summarizes the mean scores and standard deviation for questions 5, 6, and 18. Table 4-6. Answers to questions 5, 6, 18 by experimental group. Control group scores are in parentheses for comparison purposes. Q5 (control) Q6 (control) Q18 (control) Game Mean 1.66 (2.30) 1.83 (2.24) 1.72 (2.78) Alto SD .60 ( .86) .75 ( .82) .63 (1.0 ) Mean 1.48 (2.28) 1.58 (3.98) 1.75 (2.02) Qu es? SD .62 ( .94) .70 ( .88) .73 ( .76) Mean 1.42 (2.41) 1.55 (3.70) 1.70 (2.06) Sentence formation SD .53 (1.0 ) .53 (1.2 ) .71 ( .76) Mean 1.53 (2.28) 1.61 (3.96) 1.64 (1.87) If-clause SD .69 (1.1 ) .73 ( .98) .74 ( .90) A careful examination of the data also reveals a negative outlook concerning the learners views on using word games in the classroom. By isolating certain questions, the data provides a negative impression of how the learners viewed using the games in the classroom. When asked if word games should be an integral part of the curriculum of the class (question 17), game one (Alto) was endorsed with a mean score of 1.78, (with 1 being: I strongly agree), but the subsequent three garnered mean scores of 4.00 for Qu es?, 4.27 for the Sentence Formation game, and 4.14 for the If-clause game. Table 4-7 summarizes the answers for questions 13 and 17 for the experimental group
82 Table 4-7. Answers to questions 13, and 17 by experimental group Q13 Q17 Game Mean 1.59 1.78 Alto SD .81 .74 Mean 3.66 4.00 Qu es? SD 1.2 .94 Mean 3.83 4.27 Sentence formation SD 1.1 .76 Mean 3.73 4.14 If-clause SD 1.2 .94 Question 13 (Games create a positive environment in my Spanish classroom) reveals important findings. After the first game, the learners mean score for that question was 1.59, indicating that the game Alto provided a positive environment in the classroom. However, after that game, the scores were quite negative: 3.66 for Qu es?, 3.83 for the Sentence Formation game, and 3.73 for the If-clause game. A logical conclusion to the results of questions 13 and 18 would be that the learners did not enjoy the last three games, and made generalizations about the use of games in the second language classroom. The Surrealist games may pose a challenge to beginning language learners who may not be prepared to decipher metaphorical images with their limited language abilities. This could result in frustration and a lack of enthusiasm for the games. When we isolate question 11 (I would like to play the_________game again), we find contradictory evidence. Where we might expect to find low scores for question 11, particularly for games 2, 3, and 4, we see that the learners score for that question was
83 surprisingly positive even for the last three games. Table 4-8 summarizes the mean scores and standard deviation for question 11 Table 4-8. Answers to question 11 by the experimental group. Q11 Game Mean 1.41 Alto SD .71 Mean 1.69 Qu es? SD .91 Mean 1.81 Sentence formation SD 1.05 Mean 1.77 If-clause SD 1.0 The scores presented in Table 4-8 seem to support the notion that the learners enjoyed the games enough to want to play them again in the classroom. An argument, however, may be made that the learners did not necessarily enjoy the games but might want to play them again because they see the games as activities that are academically worthy or valid. Support for that argument may be garnered by the results already gleaned from the data that suggest as much (see Table 4-6). One possible interpretation of the data could be that the learners expectations of having fun while playing a game were not met by their experiences with games 2, 3 and 4. The idea that the learners enjoyed the games is also bolstered by their answers to question 2 (The ______________ game was boring). These results ranging from 3.59 to 4.67 on a scale of 1-5, contradict the notion that the learners did not enjoy the use of word games in the classroom. They instead suggest that learners expectations of playing games in the classroom are high and must be met with activities that are highly ludic.
84 Another possible interpretation of the data may be that the learners recognized the value of the activities in pedagogical terms, as learning tools, but that the activities failed to live up to the expectation of what could or should constitute a game or a ludic classroom activity. Table 4-9 summarizes the results for question 2 Table 4-9. Answers to question 2 by the experimental group Q2 Game Mean 4.67 Alto SD .64 Mean 3.59 Qu es? SD 1.0 Mean 4.22 Sentence formation SD .90 Mean 3.94 If-clause SD .94 Question 4 directly addresses how learners feel about their instructor bringing creative activities into the classroom. This question may also reveal information on how bringing such activities into the classroom may reflect on how the learner feel toward their instructors. I am assuming that the learners understand creative activities to be ludic activities such as the games they played in the experiment. The scores suggest that the learners endorse the idea of instructors bringing into the classroom activities that are creative. When learners enjoy the activities that are implemented in the classroom, particularly if the activities are creative and fun, they are likely to adopt positive feeling toward their teachers. Table 4-10 summarizes the learner answers to question 4 for the four different games
85 Table 4-10. Group means and standard deviation for question 4 (Q 4) for all the games. Alto Qu es? Sentence formation If-clause Group Mean 1.48 2.27 2.03 2.38 Experimental SD .60 .91 .80 .84 Mean 1.57 2.33 2.31 2.07 Control SD .74 1.0 1.0 .91 Mean 1.53 2.30 2.16 2.24 Total SD .65 .95 .91 .88 Analysis of the Motivation Questionnaire Recall that he learners filled out motivation questionnaires, at the beginning, and at the end of the experiment (appendix B). These questionnaires sought to determine the overall (and general) impression of the Spanish class at the beginning of the semester and at the end. After a factor analysis was undertaken using the same variables as those used to analyze the word games (Group, Gender, Choice, Year, and Experience), and a subsequent regression analysis, there was no statistical difference between the experimental group and the control group in either questionnaire. Therefore, I isolated certain questions and compared them to determine if there was a difference between the beginning of the semester and the end of the semester. Questions 1 (I anticipate enjoying this class very much I enjoyed this class very much), 6 (The activities used in this class are fun and enjoyable The activities used in this class were fun and enjoyable), and 15 (The strategies used in this class are enjoyable The strategies used in this class were fun and enjoyable) provide valuable information concerning the effect of the use of word games in the experiment. The results from
86 question 1 indicate that the experimental group had a decrease of .25 points from the pre-game to the post-game in their answers, whereas the control group decreased their score by .69 points. Ultimately, the control group may have enjoyed their experience in the classroom more than the experimental group. We may speculate that the word games had the opposite effect on the learners from what I had hypothesized. The games may have had an un-motivating effect on the learners. Table 4-11 summarizes the scores for questions 1, 6, and 15 for both the experimental and the control group. The scores are provided by question with the pre-game (Pre.) score first, and the post-game (Post) score second. Table 4-11. Scores for questions 1, 6, and 15 of the motivation questionnaires Q1 (Pre.) (Post) Q6 (Pre.) (Post) Q15 (Pre.) (Post) Group Mean 2.59 2.34 2.58 2.06 3.67 2.11 Experimental SD 1.0 1.1 .92 .90 .82 .76 Mean 2.78 2.09 2.57 2.11 3.52 2.20 Control SD 1.0 .87 .95 .80 .88 .75 However, when we look at the scores for questions 6 and 15, the opposite results emerge and the experimental group scores better results. Questions 6 and 15 deal specifically with activities and strategies used in the classroom. The scores for these questions show improvements from the pre-game to the post-game questionnaires for the experimental group of .52 for question 6 and 1.56 for question 15. The improvements made by the control group for those items are .46 for question 6 and 1.32 for question 15. The improvements for questions 6 and 15 become more relevant when we consider the learner answers already analyzed that indicate a desire on the part of the students to
87 have fun and enjoy the class in order to learn more. In the qualitative data, the learners reiterate quite often the fact that attending class 5 days a week makes attendance difficult; this sentiment is also present in the open-ended question that will be analyzed later. How a learner perceives a class is probably best gauged by whether or not that student recommends that class to her/his peers. We can assume that if a learner recommends a given class to her/his peers, it is an indication that the learner enjoyed the class or that the learner, at least, found it worthwhile enough to recommend it to his peers. Question 13 states: I would recommend this class to other students. Table 4-12 compares the scores for question 13 in the pre-game questionnaire with the post-game questionnaire Table 4-12. Scores for question 13 of the pre-game (Pre.) and post-game (Post) questionnaires. Q13 (Pre) (Post) Group Mean 2.59 2.50 Experimental SD .99 1.0 Mean 2.94 2.46 Control SD 1.0 1.0 Results for question 13 indicate a negligible improvement in the scores from one questionnaire to the other. The control group registered a higher increase than the experimental group: 0.48 to 0.09. What is revealing in the scores is the fact that there was an improvement at all, from the first questionnaire to the last, given the learner responses that suggest negative aspects of their language learning experience. The motivation questionnaire asked the learners one last open question in which they were invited to state what they anticipated enjoying (or enjoyed) the most and the
88 least about the course. The answers to this question provide useful information about what learners want from a beginning level Spanish class at the college level. The results of the data from that question will be reported later in the qualitative analysis of the student responses. Discussion The results of the data analysis presented conflicting evidence concerning the issue of motivation. The only game that garnered positive results and outscored the activity of the control group was game one, Alto. The other three games were judged negatively in comparison to the control group activities. Those three were the games played by the Surrealists and the learners did not judge them to be fun. We can get a clearer picture of the results if we discuss them in light of the 5 hypothesis. The data provides mixed results concerning hypothesis one (Word games enhance learner motivation in the SL classroom). Table 4-1 shows how a word game can be highly motivating for the students and generate a higher degree of motivation than activities, such as using a song to fill-in a Cloze passage. Research findings have shown how students can be, and are, motivated by individual tasks, instructional materials, and various types of learning activities (Drney 1994a; Julkunen 2001). The first game played, Alto, was the most successful word game used in the experiment, and the results of the questionnaire, related to that game, support hypothesis 1. However, subsequent quantitative results of questionnaires from games 2, 3 and 4 refute the findings. Tables 4-2, 4-3 and 4-4 indicate that the learners were not particularly motivated by those games. Hypothesis 2 (Students who receive the treatment of word games will be more motivated to learn Spanish than students who receive more traditional methods of
89 instruction) also evidences mixed results from the data. If we observe Table 4-7, we can reach similar conclusions about hypothesis 2 to those found in hypothesis 1. The data for the first game again support the notion that word games will create an environment that is positive and motivating. The data for the remaining games contradict it. My observations of the learner behavior during the games were that, at a minimum, the games played in the experiment promoted the type of task engagement that is associated with successful pedagogical practices in second or foreign language learning (Gardner, 1985; Platt and Brooks, 2002). The learners expressed their pleasure with the activities by laughing, by being animated and by participating actively in each turn of play. The most important evidence available that concerns hypothesis 3 (Students will prefer competitive games more than non-competitive games) is garnered indirectly and implicitly. Game 1 was the best example of a competitive game of the four games used in the experiment. The game is based on vocabulary recall. The results of the game are advertised for all to hear during the length of the game. Each turn of play will produce a winner. The data overwhelmingly point to the game as the most ludic and most enjoyed by the learners. Other evidence in the qualitative analysis will support the idea that the competitive aspect of the Alto game was fundamental in the learners perception of the success of the game. Games 2-4 were not competitive in nature and depended more on class collaboration (collectively) to score the results. Consequently, the topic of competition did not surface in the data as it had with the first game. The questionnaires did not address the issue of how word games improve peer relationship amongst the participating learners, thus, hypothesis 4 cannot be considered in
90 the quantitative analysis of the data. That issue will be addressed in the qualitative analysis. The results shown on Table 4-10 lend modest and indirect support for hypothesis 5 (The learners attitude towards their instructors will be enhanced as a result of the use of word games or other ludic activities in the classroom). The learners expressed their support by scoring the questions relatively positively for all four games. The most positive mean score for the total number of learners was 1.53 for the first game/activity of the experiment. The least positive score was 2.30 for the second game/activity. Again, this hypothesis will be bolstered by the analysis of the data from the motivation questionnaire as well as the qualitative analysis. The quantitative results, as a whole, do not support the hypotheses that motivate this study. In three of the four games (Qu es?, Sentence formation, If-clause), the learners expressed a general lack of enthusiasm for the use of word games in the classroom. The learners did not believe that games should constitute an integral part of the curriculum; nor did they endorse the idea that games create a positive environment in the classroom. The results for the first game, Alto, were quite the opposite. This suggests that learners respond well to games when they meet certain criteria. Evidence shows that learners want to play games that fulfill specific functions like being effective in achieving academic goal, being lively, competitive, and promoting a fun atmosphere. Qualitative Analysis A qualitative perspective concerning the use of word games in the classroom from the point of view of the learners participating in the experiment was gained from data gathered in interviews conducted with four student participants immediately following
91 each game. I also interviewed the participating instructors, after the experiment had been completed to obtain a qualitative perspective from them. As stated in Chapter 3, to avoid attracting highly motivated learners to volunteer to be interviewed, the teachers were asked to point out learners who were diligent about their attendance. Once the learners were identified, they were approached and asked if they would volunteer to be interviewed after each game. The process was explained to them and they agreed to participate. For the other 2 interviewees, two learners were approached at random and asked if they would agree to be interviewed. They listened to the proposition and agreed to participate. Logistics and time restraints made interviewing the two learners together more practical and efficient in spite of the probability that this could present a methodological limitation to the study. Given the schedule of classes that needed to be attended to in the study, a participant from the first class could not be interviewed immediately after the fact. It was more expedient to interview two participants from another class together (immediately after the fact) than to meet a participant from the first class later in the day. Therefore, I chose to select the four participants from the other 3 classes and interviewing two participants together turned out to be the most efficient way to achieve it. The guided interview (appendix E) consisted of 10 items that elicited specific information concerning the experience of having played the word games, impressions of their peers experience, the use of word games in a classroom environment, and the effects of playing word games on motivation and on peer relationships within the classroom. The learners were instructed to answer frankly and to elaborate on a question if they were so inclined.
92 Analysis of Student Data The results of the analysis of the student data were overwhelmingly positive on behalf of the use of word games in the classroom environment (appendices F, G, H, I). These results varied slightly with respect to the specific word games used in the experiment; however, results were quite favorable in general. Naturally, the question of the approval motive must be broached. I approached the analysis of the data with reservations. Did the interviewees answer with such degree of enthusiasm for the word games to reflect positively on themselves? Or did they do so to please me, the interviewer? The possibility of the approval motive being a factor cannot be discounted to an appreciable degree. In fact, given the results of the quantitative data, we can reasonably infer that the learners interviewed for the qualitative portion of the analysis divulged questionable evidence. However, a careful inspection of the learner answers yields some interesting information and some curious patterns. For example, an answer that is repeated with common frequency to various questions is the fact that the learners find that playing those types of word games affords them the opportunity to engage in a ludic activity instead of the more traditional out-of the-book practices. S2 states: Its kind of a break from the normal class where you sit in there and get taught out of a book. S4 adds: (playing games) makes the learning more fun instead of just monotonous. Like, ok, pronunciation, verbs, conjugationsso, it makes it more fun. S3 says: It was more fun than what we normally do. This common thread of criticism runs throughout the interview process, lending support to my contention that, ludic activities in general motivate students to actively participate in their language learning experience and favor those activities in the classroom more than the activities that the learners perceive as
93 uninteresting and common in beginning level language classes. This evidence, however, is not supported by the statistical data. Hipothesis 1 claims: Word games enhance learner motivation in the SL classroom. Two questions in the questionnaire address this hypothesis directly, a third one indirectly. Question 7 asks: If you knew in advance that you may be playing a game in class, would it motivate you to come to class more than if you knew that your class would be doing another type of activity? Question 8 is: If you were teaching a language class, would you use games as a strategy for your students to learn? These two questions directly address the issue of the learners motivation relevant to the use of word games. Question 8 puts the learner in the position of a teacher with the assumption that the learner would use games because she/he enjoys the activity or finds it motivating as a student. Question 10 deals with the issue of the use of word games more indirectly when it asks: In very general terms, given the fact that you must come to class five days a week, what type of activities in foreign language classes make attending class worthwhile for you? This question could elicit any type of activity and therefore it is not bound only by the notion of implementing word games in the classroom. Concerning question 7, an interesting finding emerged from answers such as those provided by S1, who experienced a transformation in her opinion concerning games that was manifested in the answers from one game to the others. After having played the first game, her answer to question 7 was: That would depend on what kind of day Ive had so far. If it was on material I knew pretty good, I might would come just so I could show how advanced I was. Or, if I wasnt having such a good day, I dont know if I would come or not. On the very next games questionnaire, S1s answer was very different:
94 Ive been thinking about that question quite a bit. Im excited to say that my outlook on playing games in class has changed because I do look forward to coming to class now and doing something other than looking at the board every day to learn new material, and its great learning it in a different way. S1s answer to question 7 after completing the last game reinforces a conviction that playing word games motivate this student to learn: Definitely, since Ive known what days youve been coming, I look forward to it. Especially coming those days because it can get very long and tedious going through all this material, just going through the book; so knowing that games are going to be played on certain days has made it a lot more motivatedIve become a lot more motivated to want to come those days especially. There is a general consensus in student responses that support a preference to attending class when there is a ludic activity in the lesson plan. And, again, some student responses contrasted the positive aspect of having fun while learning with the negative aspect of engaging in more traditional pedagogic practices. S3 states: Yeah, because there is a mandatory attendance in my class, Id rather be there having fun than doing just rote learning. S2 expresses similar concerns: Yeah, well, last night I worked until about 3 a.m. and if we werent playing the game, if we were just doing a regular old Spanish exercise, I probably wouldnt have come but I knew that we would be playing the game, I knew itd be interestingso thatsand this is my only class todaythats probably the only reason why I came. We must not lose sight of the fact that there was an additional motivator for these students to attend class and that is the money they would receive at
95 the end of the study provided they participated in each of the activities. The learners were also bound to a mandatory attendance policy. Question 8 yielded unanimous answers concerning the learners implementation of word games in the classroom if they were in the position of language teachers. The answers were all positive and this example from S4 is representative: Yes I would. I think its a very, very important tool that teachers need to use because it would just make the students want to learn more and be more interested and morepay more attention in class. S2 outlined in her answer the positive aspects of word games in pedagogy: Yeah, definitely, if I were a teacher, I would play gamesit has all different aspects too, it relaxes the classroom, it teaches a different way, makes kids want to come to class. I definitely think that its a good way to teachit should be incorporated. The prospect of a ludic environment in the classroom can be a motivating influence for attendance in and of itself. By contrast, learners may see some classes as overly difficult, tedious, or cumbersome, and attendance to these classes may result in adding stress to an already stressful experience. S4 makes this point when advocating the use of word games, and by extension ludic activities, in the classroom. She answers question 7 (If you knew in advance that you may be playing a game in class, would it motivate you to come to class more so than if you knew that your class would be doing another type of language learning activity?): Yes, because sometimes when Im really tired or really stressed out, I dont want to go to class because it adds another stressor, but with games its just a relaxing atmosphere, I have fun, so its not like the pressure that I have in other classes. The inherent difficulty of learning a second language and the amount of work that is undertaken in beginning-level college language courses can render those courses
96 overly stressful and unnecessarily difficult if the pedagogical practices and strategies used therein are not motivating to the learners. When learning a language becomes a purely academic activity, we lose an opportunity to motivate the learners to enjoy language learning and perhaps to achieve higher levels of language learning. S1s answer to question 3 (What does bringing games in to class do for the class atmosphere in general?) implies a negative perspective of what language learning environments could be and perhaps should not be: It relaxes the class and you come to class knowing for theyou come to class knowing that that day you dont really have to stress out and worry about taking down all the notes about making sure you get everything for the new section that youre covering. You just come to class relaxed and, you know, really just absorb what you are learning in the game. Some of the answers for question 8 point to a responsible use of word games and outline a reasonable approach to their use as a complementary strategy for teaching the language. S3 states: Yeah, once a week or once every two weeks, Id try to do something like this. And I would try to pick games that were productive and more oriented towards learning. I thought I learned a lot from todays game as opposed to some other games. S2 adds: Oh, definitely, I would use games here and there. First maybe to teach a subject, you know, let them have some background and then use the game to reinforce how to use it, and make it kind of fun so the students are not just sitting there; learn information they can actually use it in a comfortable atmosphere S2 reiterates the notion that using word games in the classroom helps to create a comfortable and fun environment.
97 The data from the answers to question 10 add support to the hypothesis that word games enhance learner motivation in the SL classroom. The learners in the experiment expressed on numerous occasions frustration and displeasure at having to attend class five days a week. They also pointed to the amount of material covered and the rigorous pace at which they covered the material as a source of frustration. Naturally, the learners discussed freely the different types of activities that made coming to class worthwhile. In addition to engaging in ludic activities, the learners favored group-work and communicative activities. In some cases the answers revealed a practical approach that tailored classroom activities with test-taking preparation. S3 consistently revealed his desire to do activities that prepared him to do well on tests. This is how he answered a question on the type of activities that he favored in class: Well definitely learning the vocabulary helps. Being able to speak it helps me put it in sentences and put them on the test so I could associate what sounds right just because Ive heard things that the teacher said in class, that probably helps the most. In other cases the learners expressed a desire to engage in activities that helped them with pronunciation and vocabulary building. Again, S3 provides a good example when he states: When we mainly focus on the vocab. and the grammar, those are the two main areasuh, for some reason in our program, they dont really teach pronunciation much, so any activity that can help us with those helps us on the test. Finally, some learner responses revealed a desire to link language learning activities in the classroom with practical communicative activities that can translate to language use outside of the classroom. S1 makes this point clear when answering the question of what activities he favors in the class. He says: Talking, interacting with both
98 the teacher and the students because Im using my vocabulary in everyday conversationthat wouldI know its going to help me when I travel to countries that speak Spanish. The cumulative effect of the learner responses to questions 7, 8, and 10 gives moderate support to hypothesis 1. Word games do enhance learner motivation in the SL classroom. The data also reveals the type of activities that the learners dislike or find counterproductive to the goal of SLA. Repeatedly, the learners described activities that are consistent with more traditional strategies of SL teaching: rote work, drilling, working primarily out of the book and redundant grammatical activities. S4 had offered this answer to question 3 (What does bringing games into the class do for the class atmosphere in general?) on her last interview: It makes it fun, laid back, it makes students want to come because they know that its not just going to be like drilling and monotonous, its going to be fun and entertaining. S2 says: no one wants to just go in the classroom and sit down, read a book and learn. S1 adds: It (using games in the classroom) breaks the writing everythingit seems weve done more writing in class than actually speaking, and so my writing ability is more advanced than talking and by having auditory games, oral gamesthats better. After playing the last game, when answering question 7, S3 claims: Id rather be having fun than doing just rote learning. Some responses to question 4 (Do you feel that a language can be learned while having fun in the classroom?) in the questionnaire reveal more supportive evidence for hypothesis 1. S4 states: Absolutely, I think what makes a language...like, what makes a people want to learn a different language is having fun, and doing some of the games are
99 a good tactic to use. S2 adds: Yeah, I believe thats how a language should be learned, having fun, because, I mean, you want to have fun, play games and associate with the people in the class. In a subsequent questionnaire, S2 elaborated further on the same topic as he anwers question 4 again: Yeah, I actually learned a couple of words today, like, on the board that I didnt know what they were until I asked a couple of people. But I think a fun game helps you learn a little...much better that text book, I think learning through, like, doing. These learners are exhibiting characteristics that are consistent with learner motivation in a classroom setting. This motivation is generated by the introduction of ludic activities (like word games) into the language pedagogy. Whether or not the data reveals that hypothesis 2 (Students who receive the treatment of word games will be more motivated to learn Spanish than students who receive exclusively traditional methods of instruction) is supported depends more on the results of the quantitative analysis for concrete answers. Given the fact that I did not interview participants from the control group after their participation in their activities, I could not compare the groups data concerning H 2 based on the qualitative results. Therefore, I will not use the qualitative data to consider H 2. However, the data offers valuable information concerning a responsible use of word games. On the one hand, when the game seems appropriate to the goals of the curriculum and it is fun, the learners give positive comments. That was the case with the first game Alto. However, when the games do not live up the learners expectations of ludic activities, the learners express their displeasure, even when the activity might be deemed by them as an effective learning tool. The relatively few negative answers given concerning word games came from answers to question 1 (Did you enjoy playing the________________ game? If so,
100 please detail what aspects of the game you particularly enjoyed. If not, please detail what aspects of the game you did not enjoy). Concerning game 2 (Qu es?), S3 gives the game moderate support but also questions its validity, he says: I enjoyed it because I had fun with it. But I dont think it taught me anything. And Im not really having trouble with the class; but if I was, Id probably be a little upset that I didnt really learn from it and we could have used the class time for something else. S4 criticizes the games inability to challenge her and its lack of group work interaction: I personally, I really did not...I dont know, I didnt like the game as much as I liked the previous game because it wasnt really challenging...so...I like to be challenged...its just sort of, ok, youre right, your partner is right. But there wasnt really that much interaction with the group. S4 found game 4 to be frustrating because it dealt with metalinguistic terms that she did not feel comfortable using in the target language. She claimed: I didnt enjoy the game today, Sentence formation, because I find it that it is harder for me to think in Spanish, especially when I have to incorporate, like, a noun, with a verb, and a prepositional phrase, and all that. Its hard for me to form the thoughts in Spanish from English, so it was very frustrating. Other than these negative answers, the remaining answers from all participants were either quite positive or mildly postive in support of using games in the classroom. I did not pose any direct questions the answers of which would reveal what type of games the learners preferred to play in the classroom. I felt that such questions may be too leading in favor of using word games in pedagogy in general. I did not want the learners to perceive an assumption on my part of how they felt about using word games in the classroom. My intuition and personal experience in the classroom has led me to
101 believe that learners preferred certain types of games. One type that seemed to be popular among college students has been competitive games. Therefore, I formulated Hypothesis 3 to read: Students will prefer competitive games more than non-competitive games. Since the questionnaire did not address this issue directly, I was obligated to look for clues in the answers of three questions. Question 1 asks: Did you enjoy playing the_______ game? If so, please detail what aspects of the game you particularly enjoyed. If not, please detail what aspects of the game you did not enjoy. Question 6 asks: Do you feel that your classmates enjoyed themselves while playing this game? And question number nine asks: While playing the game, what were you focusing on? My rationale for formulating these types of questions was based on the hopes that the learners would divulge of their own accord information that would support H3. There was not abundant data that supported the idea of preferring competitive games over other types of games. The data in general does not support the hypothesis. However, the data does reveal that competitive games do motivate the students and playing those types of games is a worthy pedagogical activity. Most answers (4 out of 5) that address the aspect of competition in the questionnaires were given after having played the first game: Alto. Alto is the most competitive of the four games and ultimately proved to be the most popular of the games used in the study. The quantitative analysis revealed such results. S1s answer to question one, of the first game states: I did enjoy the class very much, the game. Some aspects that I found were amusing were the fact that you have to think really quickly and youre competing against your classmates. S2 added that she agreed on the same aspects that he liked. To the same question, S3 said that what he liked
102 was the fact that it was loosely competitive and it was fun. S4 gave three answers on two different interviews that supported the idea of using competitive games. However, she offered two of those answers when responding to question 7 which was: If you knew in advance that you may be playing a game in class, would it motivate you to come to class more so than if you knew that your class would be doing another type of language learning activity? She states on one questionnaire: Yes, it would motivate me to study because I like to do my best in anything and when playing games, I want to be able to win, so I would study and make sure that I know my stuff. On the other interview she replies: Absolutely because I would want to be the one who wins. S4 further discusses the issue and offers a stronger endorsement on how important competitive games are in the classroom when she responded to question 3 (What does bringing word games in to the class do for the atmosphere in general?) with this: I know in my group we were really, we were kind of competitive. But we were having fun with itlike, like, come on, come on, we can do it, we can do it, soI think it brings a fun atmosphere; laid back. Her insistence on winning games and competitions in the classroom, and her description of how the class atmosphere is enhanced by the use of word games are evidence that she enjoys competitive activities even though she does not compare those types of activities with other types. S4s answers portray her as an outgoing, competitive type of person. It is important to note that competitive games may not be appealing to more withdrawn, shyer students who may actually not be motivated by competitive activities. The scant evidence that addresses the issue of competitive games does not support hypothesis 3. However, it does support the idea that competitive games are activities that
103 learners enjoy engaging in while going through the process of second language acquisition. The quantitative data sheds no light on this subject, as the specifics on types of games enjoyed were not broached in the questionnaires. What little evidence that emerges comes from the open-ended question at the end of the motivation questionnaires as well as the results gleaned from the qualitative data. Those results will be discussed later. To the question regarding the effects on peer relationships, which comes from hypothesis 4 (Word games improve peer relationships amongst the participating learners), all participants agreed that playing word games improved peer relationships not only within the classroom, but extended the influence outside of the classroom. S4 makes several comments that reflect a change in relationship with her classmates that she attributes to having played games in the classroom. In her last interview she states: Yeah, I think weve grown a lot closer since the beginning of the semester and, like, playing different gamesI know that, me, likeI talk to them if I see them outside of class or something likeSo, its more of a friendship now. S3 found that playing games helped him get to know the students in his immediate surrounding better and wished he had moved around the room on the different days that the games were played in order to know the other students in the class better. S1 stated that playing word games helps shy or passive students to participate more actively than they do in everyday normal classroom setting: where dominant students overwhelm them with more aggressive behavior. I interpret this answer as an endorsement of the use of word games as a strategy that allows learners to more freely express themselves, to enjoy themselves more openly, and thus to improve the peer
104 relationship. S2 adds: I think it helps the relationship between classmates and makes it more comfortable towards each other; instead of just sitting in a desk right next to the person, you are actually talking to him and trying to get something achieved as far as the game. I think it definitely helps. S2s answer supports research findings in second language acquisition that posits that there is a beneficial result in using tasks in the classroom that foster peer work in solving a problem or achieving a common goal (Dickins & Wood 1988; Long 1989; Long & Crooks 1993; Robinson 2001). In this respect, some word games may be simulating the types of effective activities that are commonly practiced in communicative, group-oriented strategies of language pedagogy. The above answers lend support to hypothesis 4. Research in SLA also supports the premise that creating a sense of community within a classroom enhances learner motivation, which in turn positively affects language learning (Hotho-Jackson 1995; Laufer & Hulstijn 2001). Students generally enjoy attending classes in which they feel a sense of community, where they feel they belong. The learner data suggests that this was the case during the playing of some of the games in the experiment. By looking at the data provided by S2 concerning question 3 (and the effects of word games on the class atmosphere) for all the games, we see that his responses support the very issues of peer cohesiveness and an enhanced learning environment: Game one, Alto: Yeah, it kind of makes you come closer. Especially with your group or your classmates. You have fun, there is no tension, you know. If you dont get something, its a group effort basically, so its working together. Game two, Qu es?: It definitely relaxes a little more because, you know, youre sitting there with your partner and youre having fun and then you share with the rest of
105 your group, and you know, everyone laughs when you come up with funny answers, and no one is shy at that time, even the people who are generally shythey actually come out those times. Game three, Sentence formation: It definitely, kinda decreases the tension, I mean, especially the people who arent usually active in class, or are quiet or whatever, it kinda forces them to participate, and kind of lets them get to know people and be a little more vocal, interactive. Game four: If-clause: I think games make the atmosphere less stressful and there is not as much tension in the class with games. Naturally, an environment with less stress, where learners feel comfortable participating in class activities, and where there is a communal feeling among the learners, will be a very positive language learning environment. This is the goal of the communicative language environment that varies strategies and engages the learners in active and dynamic activities. Some word games seem to complement this type of environment. The management of the classroom is ultimately the domain of the teacher. The atmosphere that is created in the classroom is, more often than not, a reflection of the teacher. How the student feels about a class usually coincides with how s/he will feel about the teacher. Hence, what a teacher brings into the class to fulfill her/his pedagogical goals becomes very important as it pertains to motivating the learners. Hypothesis 5 asserts: The learners attitude towards their instructors will be enhanced as a result of the use of word games or other ludic activities in the classroom. Since I did not pose a question that elicited information directly about the student-teacher relationship as a
106 result of pedagogical practices, by looking at the responses to question 2 (How do you feel about your instructor bringing games into the language classroom? Is it or is it not appropriate and why or why not?) we can begin discussing hypothesis 5. Without exception, the student responses to the question of how they felt about the instructors bringing word games into the classroom, and of the appropriateness of doing so, were positive. A good example comes from S4 when she states: I think it is awesome that she brings games into the classroom, and I think that it is very appropriate because it just makes it a fun atmosphere. This type of answer describes a positive attitude towards games and implies a positive view towards teachers who choose to bring into the classroom ludic activities. These activities help to make the learning environment fun and enjoyable. S3 provides the one answer, of the 15 times this question was asked to the students, that sheds a negative light on the question of how they felt about the instructor bringing games into the classroom. He states: I like the idea of bringing games in because we have to come here 5 days a week, so it gets a little boring without them. Although, I would say, I dont think we learn quite as much when we play a game...or at least this game, as when we do when she just teaches us straight. But then again, if she teaches us straight, then we dont pay as much attention, so a little variety is good. The criticism of using the games is tempered by a reminder that games provide variety to the pedagogy, something that S3 seems to value. The reasons offered by the learners for a teachers implementation of games in the class ranged dramatically, and some of them give supporting evidence concerning H 5. Some students saw it as a necessary change of pace from the pedagogy that is textbook bound and seemingly tedious. In some cases the fact that class met five days a week was
107 mentioned as a reason for changing the pace of the class. S3 states: Well, I think it is appropriate when we have class five days a week because it get pretty boring without something interactive. But maybe itd be better if we play a gamebut doing something fun This sentiment is repeated by S3 after another game: Its nice because were here five days a week and we get pretty tired after a while, so its a pretty nice break from all that. Peer unity was, again, also mentioned as a result of playing games and as a reason for using games in pedagogy. S4 offers this input to the question of the appropriateness of bringing games to the class in her answer after game 3: I love that she brings games to the classroom. I think its very appropriate because it lightens the atmosphere, it helps the students enjoy learning and it just builds unity in the classroom between the students. S2 adds: It makes it very comfortable with your group...you know, youre working together and its hard to figure things out and it just makes it a lot more comfortable when youre learning something, and youre shy, and people who are generally shy, you speak out during the game. Finally, two student-responses emphasize the fact that the games that are used in pedagogy need to be relevant to the goals of learning the language for their use in the classroom to be appropriate. In one response, S2 says: I believe that bringing games into the classroom is appropriate, especially if they are relevant to the topic and what you are trying to do in class. Again, if it had nothing to do with Spanish or learning about language, it wouldnt be relevant. But everything weve done so far, and the game we played today was helpful. I interpret the student responses as an indication that, by implementing valid, and responsible, ludic activities in their lesson plans, the teachers may improve their relationship with their students by allowing the students to see them in
108 a more positive light, and by creating an atmosphere that brings the students closer to the teachers. The qualitative evidence supports hypotheses 4 and 5. There is some evidence that implementing word games, or ludic activities, in the classroom will have a positive effect on the relationship between peers in the classroom and between the learners and the teachers. These two factors lend support to the idea that word games will motivate students to learn the subject matter. When learners have a positive relationship with their peers and with their instructors, they are more likely to be more motivated to attend class, to engage actively in the process of learning, and to learn. Analysis of Teacher Data. As previously mentioned, I interviewed the instructors at the end of the semester to gain a perspective on the use of word games in the classroom from the individuals who were asked to implement the games into their lesson plans. The session was tape-recorded for analysis (appendix J). Having one native English speaker and three native Spanish speakers as instructors in the experiment, I translated the questions into Spanish to give the instructors the choice of answering in either language. Three instructors chose to answer in Spanish and one instructor chose to answer in English. It was difficult to gather all the instructors together in one session at the end of the semester, and logistics also made it difficult to interview them separately. Ultimately, it was arranged so that two instructors were interviewed together and two were interviewed individually. I interviewed one instructor alone in English, one instructor alone in Spanish, and two instructors together in Spanish. The interviews were based on the following questions: 1. Did you enjoy playing the word games with your students? If so, why, why not?
109 2. What does bringing word games into the classroom do for the atmosphere of the class? 3. Do you feel that languages can be learned by means of ludic activities? 4. Does playing games in the class affect in any way your relationship with the students? 5. Do you feel that the students enjoyed themselves while playing these games? If so, what evidence can you point to, to back your claim? 6. Will you use these games or games like them in future classes? 7. Did your opinion of games, or your perspective of using games in the classroom change at all as a result of this experiment? 8. What else would you like to add to this discussion? It was difficult to support hypothesis 1 (Word games enhance learner motivation in the SL classroom) with the teacher data because I did not ask a question that directly elicited that information. To find supporting evidence, it was necessary to glean the information indirectly, from responses that had been directed at other issues. T4 answered question 6 (Will you use these games or games like them in the future?) with the following: S, yo pienso usar este de categorasde hecho, como a las tres semanas de haber jugado ese juego, lo volvimos a jugar que me haban estado pidiendo que lo jugramos y un da que ya termin la clase y todava faltaba tiempo, dije que bueno, que vamos a jugar y funcion bastante bien (Yes, Im thinking of using the one of the categoriesin fact, about three weeks after having played that game, we played it againthey had been asking me to play it and one day that I finished my lesson and I still had time, I said, fine, lets play it again, and it went very well) I interpret the students call for the use of the game as an indication that they are motivated to do something specific in the classroom, play a game. If we recall the results of the quantitative analysis, the learners endorsed the use of games as a worthy language
110 learning activity. They seem to be saying that they want to enjoy themselves while they learn and that some activities motivate them more than others. T1 hints at how games affect the student in the course of a protracted period. She says: the students for the most part appeared to enjoy themselves and since theyre having fun, I think they are learning, thats a good experience. Later she adds: I think it (playing games) wakes them up a little bit, give them a kind of change of pace from what they normally do. Not only does this lend support to how games enhance learner motivation in the SL classroom, it may also support hypothesis 2 (Students who receive the treatment of word games will be more motivated to learn Spanish than students who receive more traditional methods of instruction). From a pedagogical position, teachers learn from experience what type of activities seem to motivate students. As for the second language classroom, there is so much material that must be covered in one semester of the basic levels of language that teachers sometimes find themselves relying too heavily on out-of the-book grammatical activities. These activities can sometimes be boring and tedious for the learners as well as for the teachers. T2 uses games as a strategy to change the pace of the class, to move from a tedious activity to one that is more interesting, more fun, more motivating. She says: Creo que son un componente importante como dice T3, que ahorita, que esta seccin que enseamos es bsicamente pura gramtica, entonces, utilizando juegos rompemos esa monotona. Y yo por siempre tengo en mente un juego que puedo hacer rpidamente cuando veo que la clase estque no est funcionando lo que estoy haciendo, francamente. Entonces, recurro a un juego simplemente para motivarlos, para que despierten hasta cierto punto y, luego, ya podemos continuar. (I believe that they are an
111 important component just as T3 has said, that right now, that this section that we are teaching is basically strictly grammar, then, by using games we break that monotony. And I always keep in mind a game that I might do in a hurry when I see that the class isthat what Im doing isnt working, frankly. Then, I turn to a game simply to motivate them, so that they can wake up to a point, and later, we can continue). There seems to be a general consensus among the learners and the teachers that there might be too much of rote, traditional, grammar-based activities in the second language classroom. We must accept the fact that there will be activities that are implemented in the SL classroom that some learners will find tedious or boring. Still, these same activities may seem appropriate to a sector of the student population that needs to be accounted for. However, we also know from learner responses, and our own experience, that learners are generally more motivated by dynamic and diverse activities. Games can bring activities into the class which are repetitive yet not boring or tedious. T4 makes this point when she states: Entonces, yo creo que los juegostal vez es algo repetitivo tambin y no se hace tediosoes una buena manera, no? (Then, I believe that gamesmaybe it is something repetitive also and it is not tediousit is a good way, isnt it?) With regard to hypothesis 3 (Students will prefer competitive games more so than non competitive games) the data reveals that some teachers believe that competitive games are very valuable in pedagogy. We saw how the second game that was played (Qu es?) was the least successful game of the four. I believe that the game was unsuccessful in part because it was not competitive and it followed game one (Alto) which is highly competitive. T3 had the same impression. He says: siento que el
112 primer juego funcion muy bienporque los otros, adaptndolos de cierta manera, hacindolos competitivos comoes que hay mejor reaccin por parte de los estudiantes (I feel that the first game went very wellbecause the others, adapting them in a certain way, making them competitive likeits just that there is a better reaction from the students). Later he adds: Creo, bueno en el grupo que jugamos hace este ambiente competitivo, o que tienen eeestn motivados a participar (I believe, well the group that played the games makes this environment a competitive one, or they have uhmthey are motivated to participate...). Obviously T4 feels that competitive games foster a dynamic ambiance in the classroom and are successful. T3 feels that the teacher can serve as motivator or cheerleader during competitive games, since games have the ability to make the classroom a student-centered learning environment: Lo interesante de estos juegos es que hasta cierto punto hace que el centro de la clase ya no sea el profesor sino que sea el alumno. El profesor est ah un poco para motivar, que continen y todosobretodo porque tambin es una actividad competitiva y creo que cuando los alumnos estn en grupos, si hay quien termina antes, es un incentivo, no? (The interesting thing about these games is that, up to certain point, they make the student the center of the class rather than the professor. The professor is there a little to motivate, so that they can keep going and allespecially because it is a competitive activity and I believe that when the students are in groups, if there is someone who finishes first, it is an incentive, right?) These characteristics of creating a studentcentered learning environment, and placing the teacher in a supportive role, are consistent with effective communicative practices that are carried out in the classroom as group tasks.
113 When there is a competitive environment in the classroom, students lose track of time and focus their attention on winning the competition. In one class, the students were not ready to stop playing a game because it was highly competitive and the atmosphere was charged and exciting. This is how T1 explained what happened at the end of the class: Yeah, I think they had fun becausejust from their behavior during the games and the fact that in one of my classes they wanted to play one more round when I was ready to finish. In that instance, the teacher gave in and the students played one more round: clearly a case of a student centered environment where the students may have gained an important sense of autonomy. Concerning hypothesis 4 and the effects of ludic activities on the relationship between learner and teacher, I asked the question directly to the teachers and their responses were quite favorable. T1 believes that, by bringing word games into the classroom, students perceive the teacher as being a little more fun, a little less structured, she states: Yeah, they, you know, they perceive you as being a little more fun, a little morea little less structured. T2 feels that the effect is also positive because the learner feels more comfortable with the instructor: Yo creo que el alumno se siente ms cmodo con el profesores unaun esfuerzo comunitario hasta cierta forma de todos los alumnos, entonces, creo que el maestro est al nivelcreo que los alumnos ven al profesor a su nivel y eso creo que ayuda para tener un momento de ms confianza, de ms intercambio con el professor. (I believe that the student feels more comfortable with the professorits aa communal effort up to a point of all the students, then, I believe that the teacher is at the levelI believe that the students see the professor at their level and I believe that that helps to have a moment of more trust, of more interaction with the
114 professor). According to T2, the communal effort of playing games creates conditions that allow the learners to see the teacher as more approachable, the teacher is more on the same level of the learner, and thus the learners gain more trust and will interact more freely with the teacher. T4 feels that barriers are broken down by the use of word games, creating an atmosphere that is more conducive to teacher-student interaction, something that will help students, particularly the more withdrawn students. She claims: hay unaun acercamiento, no? Se sienestn viviendoeh, que uno sea justo, y se rompea lo mejorCmo se dir?...como barreras que a lo mejor se establecieron no? Puede ser ms fcil pedir explicaciones, tambin, que si, a lo mejor, algn estudiante yo creo que le dara miedo preguntar, como estn jugando, como para aclarar reglas, puede ser ms fcil hacer la pregunta, no? (there is ana coming closer, right? They feelthey are livingum, that they should be fair, and maybe, they breakHow should I say it? Like barriers that may have been erectedright? It could be easier to ask for clarifications, also, that, maybe, some student that I believe might be afraid to ask, since they are playing, sort of to clarify rules, it could be easier to ask, right?). T3 sees beneficial effects on learner-teacher relationships only when the learners understand the objective of the game. In other words, the learners must see a link between playing the games and meeting pedagogical goals. He felt that the second game played (Qu es?) did not meet that criteria and that the learners were not as happy with it or as happy with the teacher by extension. He says: El efecto siempre ser positivo siempre que el professor diga el por qu se implementa el juego en el aula. Yo he podido ver que en el segundo juego, que no me acuerdo cul erapero que mis alumnos al final
115 de la clase dijeron que no les gust porque no le vieron sentido. S le vieron sentido al STOP y a otrosentonces, a veces, por ejemplo, sobreestimamos lo que el alumno puede pensar sobre el juego, no? Entonces, tiene efectos positivos siempre que el alumno le vea el por qu, no? (The effect will always be positive so long as the professor states why the game is being implemented in the class. I have been able to see that the second game, which I dont remember what it wasbecause the students at the end of the class told me that they had not liked it because they saw no point in it. They did see a point to the game STOP and to othersthen, at times, for example, we overestimate what a student might think of a game, right?). When implementing games into the classroom, caution must be observed and the games effectiveness must be assessed critically. There is the danger that the game may be an activity that the teacher enjoys engaging in while the learners may not be interested, but play along. Some ludic activities that may be fun for the teacher and for some learners may be embarrassing for other learners. Some teachers bring songs into the class and ask the learners to sing along. Singing out loud may be uncomfortable and embarrassing for some learners, yet some teachers fail to perceive it and impose it upon their charges. The same can be said of introuducing word games or other ludc activities that have the same negative effect on the learners. Hypothesis 4 was also supported by one of the instructors as manifested by this answer to the question: Tiene algn efecto en la relacin maestro(a)-aprendiz cuando se emplean juegos en la clase? (Does playing games in the class affect in any way your relationship with the students?) T4 stated: Yo creo que s. Igual que tiene un efecto entre ellos queempiezan a establecer una relacin entre ellos que a lo mejor no se dara si slo estn contestando ejercicios (I believe so. Just as it has an effect between them
116 thatthey begin to establish a relationship between each other that may not be the case if they were only answering exercises). This answer not only supports hypothesis 4, it contrasts the use of word games and its positive effect on peer relationship with the use of the more traditional pedagogical practice of grammatical exercises. In the interviews, the learners consistently report doing activities that are characterized as out of the book, grammatical exercises. They refer to them as boring, tedious, and as stated repeatedly by them, its what they do far too often. Perhaps a more accurate interpretation is that those types of activities are cumbersome and boring and the perception of the learners is that they are commonplace in the classroom, when in fact they may constitute a far less common pedagogical activity than they believe. Hypothesis 5 (Word games improve peer relationships amongst the participating learners) is difficult to support with the data gleaned from the instructors. I did not ask them directly to opine on the matter. However, as we saw in the answer above, the instructors gave testimony to the potential positive effects games can have on peer relationships. When answering the question of whether or not she enjoyed using the games in class, T2s response touched on the subject of hypothesis 5 in passing: Yo encontr los juegos muy apropiados para lo que estbamos estudiando en la clase. Sobre todo el ltimo juego, sobre el subjuntivo, fue una experiencia muy educativa y muy buena para m, porque me di cuenta que este juego les ayuda a los alumnos a poder entender un aspecto gramatical que en s resulta difcil y sobre todo muy tedioso, muy tedioso en la clase; entonces, hacindolo como un juego ellos se divirtieron y al mismo tiempo se ayudaron mutuamente para poder hacer las respuestas (I found the games to be very
117 appropriate for what we were studying in class. Especially the last game, on the subjunctive, it was a very educational experience and a very good one for me because I found out that this game helps the students to understand a grammatical aspect that is very difficult and tedious; then, doing it like a game, they had fun and at the same time they helped each other mutually in order to do the answers). T2 hints at the same idea when answering the question on teacher-student relationships as a result of using the word games; she states: Yo creo que el alumno se siente ms cmodo con el profesor; yo creo que es otro nivel, ya no es tanto el Atlas, como se nombra y dirigiendo todo y sino que es algoes unaun esfuerzo comunitario hasta cierta forma de todos los alumnos (I believe that the student feels more comfortable with the professor; I believe that it is another level, the teacher is no longer the Atlas, as we say, and directing everything; rather it is something it is a communal effort, up to a point, between all the students). So, the nature of the games creates an atmosphere that can be conducive to learner bonding through collaboration, something that may have residual positive effects on the teacher-learner relationship. The evidence does not endorse hypothesis 5 unequivocally; however, there is enough supportive data to conclude that the instructors felt that one of the positive factors of using word games in the classroom is the effect that it has on peer relationships. Discussion Lightbown (2000) states: No matter how sound the research on which new ideas, materials, and techniques are based, pedagogical innovations must be implemented and adapted according to local conditions, the strengths of individual teachers and students, the available resources, the age of the learner, and the time available for teaching. The qualitative evidence suggests that word games may fulfill the conditions outlined above
118 and prove to be an effective tool in second language acquisition if the games are challenging, if they fulfill a pedagogic goal, and if they engage the learner to participate actively. An important characteristic of word games is the diversity of the activities (Fontier & Le Cunff 1976, Lamy & Laitenberger 1976; Monnot 1988; Cerrolaza et al 1997; Fernndez 1997; Moreno 1997). Therefore, they can be easily adapted to local conditions, to the strengths of the teachers and students and to the age of the learners. Games do not generally require unreasonable resources (Vever 1976), as we were able to witness in this study, and games provide excellent opportunities to fuse pedagogy with ludic activities as these activities make effective use of classroom time. If a teacher chooses to use games in the classroom to complement a communicative approach to second language pedagogy, the types of games chosen becomes an important issue. We have heard from the learners and teachers that there has to be a pedagogical objective that the games fulfill in order for the activity to have merit; this is a notion that echoes in the field of second language acquisition (Crooks & Schmidt 1991). Ideally the games will feature a grammatical structure or specific vocabulary that the class is in the process of learning; this would constitute an example of FonF instruction. As for the type of game that tends to be more successful, I believe that competitive games are activities that motivate the students to participate fully in the classroom, particularly if it is a collaborative game that pits one group against another, or one group against other groups within the class. Research findings support using competitive and cooperative games to enhance learner motivation in the language classroom (Julkunen 2001). Using word games and other ludic activities may be an effective and strategic pedagogical approach that can offset the apparent learner perception that there is too
119 much emphasis placed on tedious activities on a day to day basis. By altering the strategies and changing the pace, teachers can shift the learner perception to one that identifies the learning environment as a dynamic, entertaining, and motivating place to learn a second language. Analysis of the Open-ended Question in the Motivation Questionnaires Before the experiment commenced, the learners filled out a motivation questionnaire (appendix B) that elicited information concerning their motivation to come to class and to participate in the classroom activities, their views on what activities they anticipated enjoying the most and the least, their attitudes about the class and about learning Spanish, and whether or not they would recommend the class to their peers. The results concerning this last issue were discussed in the quantitative section of the present chapter. The learners filled out an identical questionnaire at the end of the semester after the experiment had been completed, and the same information was elicited. The questionnaires had an open-ended question at the end that asked specifically for input concerning what the learners enjoyed the most and the least during the semester. I did not limit the learner output by asking them to choose categories from a list of activities. They were free to answer by providing any aspect of their language learning experience that they found most and least appealing. They were encouraged to offer additional information on the back of the questionnaire if they so desired. Some students chose not to answer the questions on both the pre-game and the post-game questionnaires. On the pre-game questionnaires, 109 learners answered and 9 did not answer. For the post-game questionnaire, 99 learners answered and 19 chose not to answer. On the other hand, some students chose to give multiple answers. For example, a student might answer: I anticipate enjoying speaking in group activities, cultural
120 activities, and learning new vocabulary. In this case, I tabulated three different answers for one learner. Pre game Questionnaire While tabulating the results, I created categories that I placed under aspects of the class that the learners anticipated enjoying the most and the least based on the learner wording in their answers. There were 18 categories that emerged, ranging from group work to grades, including categories such as variety of activities, games, teacher, lectures, reading and writing in class. After compiling the learner answers, I chose the five categories with the highest number of votes for each area (enjoyed most vs. enjoyed least). The results show that what the learners anticipated enjoying the most about their Spanish class were the following categories 1. Speaking Spanish in class 46 2. Group work and interaction 20 3. Cultural activities 10 4. Games 9 5. The teacher 5 The other categories in the order of the number of votes given were: fun (3), new vocabulary (3), variety (2), good grades (2); and others that received one vote: innovation in pedagogy, materials, fluency, relaxed atmosphere, labs, short class period, meets every day, participation, and thinking in the language. The learners stressed that using the language in class was very important, and that group-work allowed for a more enjoyable atmosphere in the class. Learning about the different Hispanic cultures was also deemed important; on some questionnaires, the learners indicated that they would travel to a Spanish speaking country and they wanted to be able to speak the language and have prior knowledge of the native cultures. On
121 other questions, learners expressed the importance of knowing the language and culture of Hispanics if they were going to live in Florida. The results of the pre-game questionnaire also revealed what the learners expected to enjoy the least about their language learning experience. Of the 19 categories that the learners wrote, I chose the five that were most prominent based on the number of votes they received in the tabulation. 1. Tests 15 2. Attendance five days a week 13 3. Workbook and lab manual 11 4. Speaking on the spot when called on 11 5. Rote work, tedious, busy work 11 The other categories in the order of the number of votes given were: grammar (5), homework (5), oral exams (4), group activities (3), confusion (3), reading (2), teacher (2), pace (2), difficulty (2), and others that received one vote: 9:30 A.M., writing on board, lectures, class participation, writing compositions. The learners expressed great concern about the stress that is caused when taking tests in Spanish class. Some added that they resented taking so much time preparing for tests and doing the workbook and lab manuals (although, the workbooks and lab manuals were activities done outside of the classroom). They also resented having to come to class five days a week for a course that is required in their fields of study yet not central to their areas of expertise. While speaking was rated as the activity that the learners anticipated enjoying the most, speaking on the spot, when called on by the teacher was given negative attention. The interpretation is that the learners like to speak the language in class on their terms, when they are ready to do so and in group-like activities, interacting with their peers.
122 This is characteristic of a communicative environment that emphasizes group work and interaction using contextualized language. They reported not liking to be isolated in the classroom by teacher-generated discourse and asked to perform in the target language in random fashion. There was equal negative attention directed at rote, tedious, busy work in the classroom. Having to attend class five days a week is rendered more difficult when the in-class activities are seen (or perceived) as boring and tedious. Post-game Questionnaire Following the same pattern used to gather and analyze the results for the pre-game questionnaire, I chose the following five categories that reveal what the learners most enjoyed about their language learning experience at the end of the experiment. The categories do not focus only on activities, they include factors that the students enjoyed about the learning experience, such as the role of the teacher. Fifteen categories were outlined by the learners as most favorable. 1. Games 25 2. Group work, interaction with peers 25 3. The teacher 19 4. Speaking Spanish in the classroom 17 5. Variety of methods and activities 10 The other categories in the order of the number of votes given were: fun atmosphere (8), fun activities (7), culture (7), grammar (2), peers (2), fiesta (2), vocabulary (2); and other categories that received one vote: progress, structure of class, learning environment. The learners named games, along with group work and interaction with peers, as the most enjoyable factor in their language learning experience. There were three other categories that emerged that could be closely linked to games or other ludic activities: 1) Fun atmosphere: 8 votes; 2) Fun activities: 7 votes; 3) Humor in the class: 1 vote. This
123 constitutes evidence that learners want to have fun while learning a language, that ludic activities are an important factor in the foreign language classroom, and that games may play an important role in second language pedagogy. The teacher also proved to be very important to the learners in their overall experience in the classroom. Reasons given as important factors for liking the teacher were: sense of humor, variety of methods employed, flexibility, having a passion for teaching, and enjoying teaching. These answers emerged from both the experimental and the control groups. The following is a comprehensive list of the categories by votes Again, the learners included speaking Spanish in the classroom as an enjoyable factor. However, while it had been voted as the activity that they most anticipated enjoying in the pre-game questionnaire, it was surpassed by games and group work / interaction with peers in the post-game questionnaire. An interesting observation is that group work / interaction with peers is an activity that engages the learners in conversation in the target language. I interpret this apparent contradiction as a case of learners enjoying interaction with peers in the class (in a group-work setting). However, the learners may not enjoy, as much, speaking out in class in an isolated fashion, as when the teacher calls on them to speak the target language. The following five categories reveal what the learners least enjoyed about their language-learning experience: Again, the learners did not confine their answers to classroom activities or pedagogical practices. For example, lab-manual and workbook activities are done outside of the classroom. 21 categories emerged as least enjoyed 1. Lab-manual, workbook activities 15 2. Attendance five days a week 12 3. The pace of the class 8
124 4. Workload, amount of material covered 7 5. Grammar 7 The other categories in the order of the number of votes given were: speaking on the spot (4), the teacher (4), structure of the department (4), tests (4), required class (4), structure of the class (2); and other categories that received one vote: in-class compositions, listening excercises, group work, not enough vocabulary, homework, writing on the board, peers, not learning anything in class, early morning class, not being able to pick mates. I interpret lab-manual, workbook activities as rote, drilling, out-of the bookactivities that are associated with traditional methods of language teaching. Since those activities were done outside of the classroom, the learners reveal that what they do outside of the classroom may have adverse effects on their perception of the course as a whole. Grammar can also fall under that category. When compared with the results of what learners enjoy most, this is clear evidence that second language learners favor communicative, interactive and ludic activities in the classroom over more traditional activities that seem boring and tedious. Judging by the learner responses, those types of activities are still far too commonplace in second language pedagogy. I interpret the activities as those that rely heavily on static reviewing of material out of textbooks, and the rote, drilling of these activities. I am also referring to a classroom environment where the teacher has each individual learner provide an answer from an exercise in the textbook before going on to the next learner in a repetitive manner without personalizing the material nor contextualizing the language use. The learners are not interacting with each other and very little with the teacher. One learner puts it this way in an answer from the motivation questionnaire: I enjoyed activities which involved the entire class and
125 allowed each student to speak. I dislike practicing the grammar. However, the bulk of the course was grammar and verb conjugations Another learner adds: I enjoy work thats in a group with people, or cultural projects. I also enjoy non-conventional games like vocab jeopardy to learn new conceptsHowever, I dont like learning grammar and there should be a better way for students to learn grammar. A third student says: What I do not like about the course is how fast it goes. Many of the profs teaching are T.A.s and they cannot teach. Spanish is a language that you learn by using it, not just out of a book. It is important to keep in mind that this is one learners response that may reflect the feelings of some of the participants, but does not necessarily reflect the feelings of the majority. Also, it is important to note that some rote work will emerge in an SL classroom which will constitute one potential strategy in conjunction with many others. What some learners perceive as passive, rote, drilling type of activities may actually be exercises that teachers choose to engage in that allow learners to process information before it is used as output. Processing input has been shown to aid learners in the language acquisition process (Van Patten & Sanz 1995). An observation of the data reveals that the words rote and drilling do not appear in the final list of activities not enjoyed. This could be clear evidence that the learners did not engage in those activities as much as they perceived or stated. When we add the fact that group work / interaction with peers ranked first as an activity that they enjoyed, we get a picture of an environment that is more communicative than what the learners are claiming in the qualitative data. There were numerous responses that shed a negative light on the amount of material that is covered in the beginning levels of Spanish classes and the pace that is
126 required in one semester to cover the material. Some students reported feeling overwhelmed by the rigorous nature of the course and resentful at the amount of time and energy that is needed to succeed in the class while juggling the responsibilities of their other courses. I feel that those comments are motivated by the perception that there is an overwhelming amount of material to cover. This perception is fed in part by pedagogical practices that the learners perceive as tiresome, and boring. In a class where the strategies are varied and where ludic activities complement a communicative approach to teaching, the language learners may enjoy their experience more and the process might seem more interesting, more entertaining, less tedious and less cumbersome. Discussion The open-ended questions at the end of the motivation questionnaires offer a valuable glimpse at the factors that second language learners identify as important in terms of enjoyment. In the first questionnaire, prior to the experiment, the learners anticipated enjoying speaking the language and group work. This is consistent with Mandells (2002) findings in a study that aimed at identifying the average type of motivation driving foreign language students to study Spanish at the postsecondary level. Specifically, it tried to identify which activities the typical college-level learner of Spanish felt were most beneficial to their continuing second language development. In this study, Mandell (2002) found that second semester students rated the following categories as most important: speaking and conversation (48%), listening (48%), and grammar (39%), the remaining categories scored much lower, including: lectures, compositions, tests, homework and other. The learners were required to choose between those categories in a questionnaire. Given choices in a questionnaire, learners chose conversation as the most important activity in their language classroom.
127 In the post-game questionnaire of this study, however, the learners rated speaking the language fourth behind games, group work / interaction with peers, and the teacher as the factor they most enjoyed about their Spanish class. Being an open-ended question, the learners had the freedom to choose from any possible answer. The fact that games and group work / interaction with peers ranked first and speaking Spanish in the class was relegated to fourth confirms the importance of interaction and of using ludic activities in the second language classroom as it pertains to motivation. But, it may also signal the possibility that the learners perceive that not enough speaking was taking place in the classroom. If so, we may be losing a chance to retain language learners and to motivate them to further levels of language study by not providing instructional strategies that the learners identify as gratifying and important. This also poses a contradiction. Group work / interaction with peers is done in the target language; thus, the learners are speaking in the classroom. Perhaps it is indicative of the types of speaking activities they enjoy engaging in that the learners are responding to. A critical point to be raised is that of the novelty factor of using games in the classroom. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why the learners enjoyed the first game as much as they did relative to the other games. Once the novelty wore off, the learners may not have enjoyed using those games as much. Another possibility is that the latter games did not have the learners using the language to communicate with a contextualized discourse, and the learners were eager to engage in activities that allowed them speaking practice. Perhaps a strategy may be implemented that has learners enjoying the novelty of using games in the classroom while engaging in games that promote speaking the target language in a more effective manner than was the case in the experiment.
128 In her study concerning motivating factors amongst continuing language students, and students who discontinue language study, Ramage (1990) found that gaining language fluency, or language proficiency, was the most important motivating factor for continuing students. Discontinuing students were primarily concerned with fulfilling a language requirement. When given the opportunity to express their likes and dislikes concerning second language pedagogy, language learners seem to favor interactive, communicative, ludic and engaging activities. They also favor fun and engaging teachers who vary the approaches to pedagogy. Likewise, they complain about out-of-the textbook activities that are boring and tedious, and what some of the respondents in the experiment perceived as being what we always do. Therefore, to promote motivation in the second language classroom, we need to create an atmosphere that is challenging, that provides rich sources of stimulation, and creates a context of autonomy (Deci & Ryan 1985). This environment will result in fostering self-confidence in the learner, which is important for motivation (Drnyei 1994a, 1994b; Laufer & Hulstijn 2001). And more importantly, by listening to the learners pleas for more dynamic methods of instruction, the lesson plans will have relevance, another important factor in second language acquisition (Crooks & Schmidt 1991). Hence, the implementation of ludic activities, such as word games, in a communicative language learning environment, therefore, can be an important step towards achieving those important pedagogical goals.
CHAPTER 5 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS Summary Current SLA theory promotes using task-based instruction in pedagogy to enhance language acquisition in formal language environments (Ellis 2001; Julkunen 2001; Long 1989; Long & Crookes 1992, 1993; Long & Porter 1985; Robinson 2001; Skehan, 1996, 1998). Tasks can engage the learners in communicative, collaborative, problem-solving activities that are student-centered. One important goal of tasks is to provide implicit grammatical instruction to the communicative approach (Dickens & Woods 1988; Nunan 1989). Within this framework, word games may be used as tasks in the classroom to achieve specific pedagogical goals. Games can be adapted to provide grammatical features implicitly as the learners engage in activities that are problem-solving, and whose goal is to achieve the grammaticality of collaborative productions. This study was designed to determine the role word games have in SLA pedagogy concerning learner motivation in a college environment at the beginning levels of Spanish instruction. Information was obtained concerning student level of motivation as it pertains to specific types of pedagogical activities and how these activities affected their perceptions of the class, of the teacher and of peer relationships. Information was also gleaned concerning the learners perception of the types of activities that they most enjoy and least enjoy in the formal language environment. The results obtained from the data were mixed. Concerning the issue of whether or not word games motivate the learner more than the other, more traditional activities, the quantitative data yielded positive 129
130 results as it pertained to the first word game, Alto. The learners in the experimental group reported having enjoyed the game more than the learners in the control group enjoyed filling-in a cloze passage of a song. The learners also reported positive impressions of how much their peers enjoyed the game. However, the quantitative data bore negative results relative to the other three games. Learners in the experimental group did not find two of the other three games to be as relevant or as much fun as the control group students found their activities to be fun. The experimental group learners also did not perceive their peers to have enjoyed the last three games as much as they had for the first game. And they did not believe, based on their answers, that games should be an integral part of the curriculum. The quantitative data, however, also yielded contradictory results as it revealed that the experimental group learners found the last three games to be effective learning activities that they would enjoy doing again. One possible interpretation of the contradiction is that the learners may have been comparing the last three games to the first game as it related to how much fun those activities were. The qualitative data, based on the opinion of only 4 learners, revealed a different picture. The learners who were interviewed gave quite positive accounts of their experiences with the games in general terms (there were some isolated negative comments about specific games for not being fun, or as much fun as other games). They felt that their peers had enjoyed the games, they felt that the games ought to be an integral part of the curriculum and they reported being enthusiastic about using word games in the classroom and their positive effects on peer relationships and the learner-teacher relationship. These findings were consistent with results gleaned from an open-ended question that the learners answered before the experiment, and after the experiment,
131 which asked about the factors that they might enjoy most concerning the class a priori, and what factors they enjoyed the most in the class a posteriori. In addition to learner data, information was collected from the teachers who participated in the experiment. Their input revealed evidence of the role of word games and ludic activities in pedagogy and how these strategies affected learner motivation from the perspective of the instructors. The teachers also discussed how using ludic activities enhanced the learning environment. They reported having enjoyed the games and perceiving that the learners had enjoyed most of the games. One teacher found that his learners had not enjoyed the second game, Qu es?, nearly as much as the other games. The teacher data also supported the notions that word games and other ludic activities enhanced the learning environment, they helped establish a communal effect in the classroom, they facilitated peer bonding, and they were instrumental in creating a positive teacher-student relationship. The data from the teachers also echoed an important message that resonated through the learner data, and that was that ludic activities or word games were not effective pedagogical tools if they were not relevant nor academically sound. The games needed to fulfill a specific pedagogical objective for their use to be effective and worthy. This study has practical significance for the field of applied linguistics by providing information to language teachers, language program directors, curriculum designers, researchers in applied linguistics, and college students. The results of this study may help teachers and language program directors to identify teaching strategies that promote better learning environments for our students. In that respect, information gleaned from this study revealed activities that many learners found to be interesting,
132 challenging, motivating and effective. Learners reported liking communicative activities that were collaborative; they enjoyed conversing in the target language, but on their terms, with a classmate, or with the teacher, in lively interaction. They did not enjoy being called upon to speak spontaneously, on the spot. The learners stated that they wanted to have fun in the classroom to offset the rigors of learning a second language. They expressed positive views on doing creative activities in the classroom and they enjoyed playing word games, provided these games had a pedagogical goal to fulfill and they taught the learners something useful. Finally, this study provides information on what learners do not enjoy doing in the classroom, and what activities do not motivate the learners to want to learn the target language. Ultimately, learners want to be in a second language classroom that is dynamic, diverse, challenging, communicative, and fun. Curriculum designers may gain useful insights into language learning activities that can effectively diversify approaches to language instruction. To those ends, this study provides a portrait of the college student as it directly relates to the methodology that they find useful, enjoyable, affective and effective. It also offers a glimpse of the activities that are ineffective and counterproductive in their eyes. Curriculum designers may identify communicative activities that are fun and effective, and complement these activities with other ludic activities that are productive and creative. Since timing appears to be of critical importance, those ludic activities, word games included, may be interjected into the curriculum at intervals that are reasonable. In other words, these ludic activities should not be overdone; and they should be used to achieve specific pedagogical goals. Word games can be effective if they are strategically implemented
133 into a communicative approach to language teaching. Learners expressed gaining positive feelings towards the class, the teacher, and their peers, when engaging in word games and other ludic activities. This is characteristic of what communicative strategies generally do, hence, games can constitute an effective complement to this approach. Limitations There were many limitations inherent to this study that failed to reveal themselves until it was too late to intervene and correct them. In the process of running the experiment, circumstances would make patent the fact that the design and implementation of the study could have been done more effectively otherwise. Here are some of the more salient limitations Word games are best used if they complement a grammatical structure being taught at the same time that the game is played, or if specific vocabulary could be used in a game as a strategy for learning it. In the study this occurred only once, for the If-clause game. To better gauge the effects of any activity, it is best to do so when the activity has relevance to overall class objectives. Games should be chosen to complement the curriculum for them to be useful. When the If-clause game was played, some of the participating teachers had not begun to cover the material of conditional clauses and imperfect subjunctive conditional sentences. Other teachers had begun to cover it and the learners in those classes reported having enjoyed the game as a review. For the classes that had not covered the material, the game could have been a frustrating experience, thus negating the intended goal of using the game. On the day that the experimental group played a game, the control group was asked to undertake more traditional pedagogical practices. However, this was not always the case. In some cases, the teachers would devise lesson plans with ludic activities such as singing songs, and role-playing, for instance. Some of the participating teachers felt that they only needed to allot 20 to 25 minutes of traditional pedagogical activities in the control groups, at the end of the period, since that was the time allotted to the games in the experimental groups. The activities designed for the control groups to do on the days of the experiment could be done in 20 to 25 minutes, or they could have taken the whole period. In that respect, the teachers had flexibility to do other activities in the beginning of the period. Therefore, there was a wide discrepancy of activities for part of the class in some cases. As the researcher, I should have more vigorously attempted to enforce more uniformity for the activities of the control group, but I failed to do so. I did not feel that I had the
134 authority to impose my views on what they should be doing with the control group, when I was dictating what was to be done with the experimental group. I should have designed the activities for both groups and more closely monitored the implementation of the experiment. The first word game used appears to have been the most fun of all of the games. Based on student and teacher responses, this activity was deemed most ludic of all. It is one game that the learners requested to play at different times in the semester, according to the participating teachers. This may have tainted the answers of subsequent games as the learners compared each game with the prior ones instead of comparing games with non-game activities. There are several cases of responses from the learners that compare the first game favorably relevant to the other games. A better design of the questionnaires may have averted this problem. In some cases, the teachers did not explain why they were engaging in the word game. Some students expressed the need to know what benefit they would be gaining from the word games. To some students, just doing a word game for the sake of playing it was not effective use of class time. It had been left to the teachers discretion to justify using a word game in connection with the overall class objective. In some cases, the teachers simply said that they would be playing a game. The teachers should have been instructed to give a brief explanation of the activity and how this activity would benefit their learning goals. I was not able to interview the participating students or teachers under similar conditions. Two students were interviewed together, and two students were interviewed individually. There may have been peer pressure for the students answering together to generalize their responses so as to agree with each other. The same may be said of the teachers who were interviewed in tandem. Their answers may have been coloured by the presence of a colleague in the interview.I should have asked one of the participating learners to wait patiently, or return in 20 to 25 minutes, to insure that everyone would get interviewed in the same manner and under similar conditions. I interviewed participants from the experimental group, but did not interview participants from the control group. Doing so would have given me important information concerning the learners views of their activities. I could have gained valuable information from the control group for comparative purposes. A more prudent approach would have been to interview the same number of participants from both groups under identical circumstances. Despite the numerous limitations, the information gathered, analyzed, and reported in this study can render relevant information to the field of applied linguistics and to those with a vested interest in second language acquisition, and language pedagogy.
135 Conclusions Within a comprehensive, communicative approach to language pedagogy, using some ludic tasks, such as word games, may yield positive results in the second language classroom in the area of student motivation. Based on learner input, beginning levels of language learning can be rendered more fun and interesting when a communicative approach is enhanced by diversifying the methodology. Some word games and other successful ludic activities may help in this manner. Second language learners are exposed to multiple grammatical structures and a vast amount of vocabulary in each chapter of the textbooks that are used in those courses. By employing certain methods in second language pedagogy, the task of learning a language in this environment may be enhanced and improved by raising the level of learner motivation. Word games and other ludic tasks could add variety to teaching methods, they can infuse the class with a lively and light atmosphere, and they can present grammatical instruction in a creative and fun way. Many learners who enroll in Spanish classes at the university level do so to fulfill requirements imposed upon them by their chosen fields of study. A foreign language may constitute a peripheral need in their overall academic preparation, and one that is often not taken as seriously as it may warrant. To these students, the workload and the pace of the class can become overwhelming and frustrating, especially if the pedagogical practices they encounter in the classroom seem to them to be counterproductive to maintaining their active interest and motivation in the classrom. However, with a more communicative, dynamic, and varied pedagogical intervention, these students could be motivated to enjoy language learning, and to adopt a different attitude toward language learning. Similarly, there are many students who enroll in college language courses because they want to learn the language; they want to gain a functional level of fluency;
136 and they want to use the language in real-world situations. These highly motivated learners can sometimes become disillusioned with language learning when the experience of language acquisition is rendered unpleasant by an over-exposure to traditional, grammar-based, activities. Communicative methods in second language acquisition have begun to replace many of the grammar-based, static, and tedious strategies of old. However, based on the results of the student data in this study, learner perception is that teachers may be relying heavily on unmotivating, rote, and tedious activities that have a negative effect on learner motivation. These activities include written exercises in class involving translation, review exercises from homework activities where the teacher simply asks students to supply answers without engaging in meaningful conversation afterwards, grammar explanations done on the board and note taking by the learners, drilling exercises, grammar-based exercises where the teacher asks the learners to supply an example of a particular grammatical feature (for example: change this present subjunctive verb to its imperfect subjunctive form), and other activities that are neither fun for the learners nor allow them to engage in meaningful interaction with their peers in the target language. It is understood that activities like those mentioned above may constitute a necessary and/or effective form of instruction sometime during the semester; however, learner perception shows that those types of activities may be far too commonplace on a daily basis. Learners report wanting to speak the language in the classroom, and wanting to work in groups or pairs in activities that are fun, lively, and dynamic. An indication of how certain types of activities might effect the perception of the learners can be gleaned from results of the motivation questionnaires that report a robust
137 increase in how many participants enjoyed playing the word games at the end of the semester relevant to how many had anticipated enjoying using word games at the beginning of the semester. The results of the analysis of the qualitative and quantitative data give mixed results on using word games and other ludic activities to promote learner motivation in the second language classroom. When the activity is fun, preferably competitive, and the learners see that an academic objective is being fulfilled, as with the game Alto, they support using word games in pedagogy. When the games do not fulfill their expectations of fun and the learners do not consider the activity effective in furthering their academic goals and test preparation (as was the case with the Qu es? game in particular), they do not support using word games in pedagogy. The game or ludic activity that is implemented in the classroom must be relevant to the material covered and sound in pedagogical terms. In other words, learners want to have fun, but they want to learn and to be prepared to succeed on tests and ultimately, in language acquisition. They do not want to play games for the sake of simply having fun in the classroom; the learners take a practical approach to what they want to do in the classroom, and teachers can strive to implement ludic activities in their methodology that uphold sound academic practices. Using word games is but a component of a comprehensive communicative approach that maximizes using the target language through collaborative activities (some of which may be ludic in nature). Some of these activities can be competitive while others can be problem-solving tasks. Second language pedagogy cannot rely solely on word games and/or on ludic activities to reach the goals of second language acquisition. This is a sentiment that is echoed by the teachers and learners who participated in the
138 study. There is a general agreement that the implementation of word games in pedagogy must be prudent and strategic: they must fulfill a specific goal within a communicative, approach to language teaching. Although the games used in the study may have marginally succeeded in this respect, as with the first and the last games, Alto and If-clause games, the four learners interviewed and the participating teachers agreed that using those types of activities in the classroom can have a positive effect on second language learning. Students in beginning courses at the university level understand that there will be a number of activities in the classroom that are based on grammar and that can be tedious. Some learners actually enjoy drilling grammar features if it furthers their ability to do well on tests or in communication. Several learners reported accepting the fact that they must drill and practice grammar structures in the classroom. However, they advocate using a variety of activities and a change of pace in the classroom that diminishes the reliance on those more traditional, book-bound, and tedious tasks. Therein lies the potential value of word games in SLA pedagogy. Word games and ludic tasks may enhance motivation by creating a learning environment that is conducive to lively interaction among the learners. This interaction might facilitate a bonding between the learners that results in a communal setting. In this setting, the learners may feel free to express themselves, to participate actively, to use the language more freely, and to have fun. One important factor of this ludic environment is that the learners may feel at ease and relaxed; they may not feel the pressure or stress that is often associated with performance in an academic setting, particularly so in a formal
139 foreign language environment. This factor might allow them to open up and speak more freely which would provide opportunities to practice the language. The data also suggests that the introduction of ludic activities into the curriculum may have a positive effect on how the learners feel towards their instructors. Learners report gaining positive feelings towards their instructors when the instructors make an effort to vary the methodology, particularly when fun activities that are relevant to the goals of the class are introduced and the atmosphere becomes lively and dynamic. Implications for Second Language Acquisition The results of the study have implications for the field of second language acquisition. This study explored the importance that having fun while learning a language may have in language learning motivation. In this respect, having fun is the result of experiencing a ludic moment, of enjoying engaging in a learning task. Naturally, this assertion begs the question of whether learners learn better, or learn more, if the learning experience provokes joy, laughter, glee (especially when the activity has specific pedagogical objectives with which to comply). Future reseach may investigate the effect ludic tasks may have on language learning. The design of the games that are used in the classroom should adhere to certain parameters to ensure success in language acquisition. They ought to obligate the learners to use specific vocabulary, or grammatical features, in a repetitive manner without falling into the rote, and routine reviewing of grammar that is unproductive. In the case of the if-clause game, the learners played in groups and one participant provided the if-clause while the remaining 3 or 4 participants supplied the resultant clause. This permitted the players to hear the imperfect subjunctive form of the verb repeated by the one participant 3 or 4 times, while her/his group mates countered with their phrases using the conditional
140 form of the verb in the resultant clause. Each exchange was unique because of the resultant clause, in spite of the fact that the if-clause would be repeated. This type of drilling is productive because the grammatical feature is veiled and the exchanges can yield meaningful language use (De Keyser 1998; Lightbown 2000). One inherent weakenss of this type of game is the fact that the language production is not contextualized input. However, while it may not be contextualized in terms of a specific issue (like travelling, shopping, going to school, looking for a job, etc,), the input is contextualized along grammatical lines. The learners may either intuit or know that they are reviewing a specific feature of the language. Finally, using competitive word games could tap into a source of motivation that may facilitate second language acquisition. Competitive games often engage learners to actively participate in the activities. When the learners compete in a classroom setting, they often allocate additional energy and focus toward grammatical production (if one of the objects of the game is to produce grammatical sentences). When that is the case, they may be noticing the structures used in the games more acutely, and noticing has been identified as an important condition for second language acquisition (Sharwood Smith 1986; Schmidt & Frota 1986; Schmidt 1990, 1993, 1995; Fotos 1993; McLaughlin 1996). Implications for Pedagogy The results of the data analysis lends some limited support to the validity of using word games and other ludic activities in the second language classroom to promote learner motivation. The implications of the study suggest a moderate use of word games within a communicative approach to second language teaching. However, it does not mean that instructors cannot bring into the formal learning environment other ludic activities that may not fall under the rubric of word games. The results of this study show
141 that whenever learners are having fun and are enjoying the process of learning a second language, they are more motivated to participate and to use the target language. Learners and teachers report that word games create a learning environment that is relaxed, open, flexible and effective. This environment has a positive effect on peer and student-teacher relationships, therefore creating a sense of family or community that enhances language learning motivation. As two teachers in the experiment observed, word games can be used as ice-breakers at the start of a semester to begin creating a communal bond. They can also be interspersed throughout the semester to alter the pace of the class or to give the impression of altering the pace. Several learners reported an improvement in peer relationships as a result of using word games in the classroom. For some, the effect transcended the formal educational environment as they stated that these pedagogical approaches planted the seeds for interaction outside of the classroom setting. This has implications of a ripple effect whereby the influence of specific methodological strategies implemented in the classroom may have positive consequences on the educational experience as a whole. Finally, by using word games or ludic activities, teachers can minimize using more traditional strategies that learners seem to dislike. This can have an important impact on student enrollment at the higher levels of language instruction, as more and more learners are motivated to continue enjoying their language-learning experience. Language departments can become more robust by motivating learners to continue their language learning beyond the levels they had originally intended to fulfill. Conversely, by relying on counterproductive methods, language departments can lose a potential pool of learners who might have considered intermediate or advanced levels of language
142 instruction, but find language learning to be too tedious to enjoy, or too burdensome to consider pursuing further than the required levels of instruction in any given program or curriculum. Ideas for Further Research Given results that suggest the importance of ludic activities in the second language classroom and how these activities may enhance learner motivation, research could investigate the percentage of time language teachers devote to promoting ludic activities in the classroom, and how these activities fall into a comprehensive strategy of language instruction. Word games and/or ludic activities may prove to be fertile ground for second language acquisition research. But, before any claim of certainty can be made relevant to the value or merit of these strategies, research must be conducted to discover if word games aid in second language acquisition, in rate of learning, and in rate of language retention. Empirical studies may be designed and implemented to compare word games with other strategies to determine if one strategy is superior to another in levels of language acquisition. Research may also identify the type of word game or ludic activity that promotes second language learning while ensuring the most effective use of class time. Games and ludic activities may motivate the learner to come to class, to participate, and to use the language, however, there is another player in the equation that needs to be considered. Do games and ludic activities motivate the teacher to teach certain features of the language? Do they motivate the teachers to come to class with a more positive attitude? Jacques (2001) believes that the issue of teacher motivation is often overlooked by research. He cites a high incidence of language teachers who feel burned-out, who dont want to be in the classroom, or who would rather be doing something other than
143 teaching. He also believes that teachers and learners choose to engage in foreign languages for different reasons, and, as a result, teachers often feel that some of their activities just dont seem to hit the mark. My observation of the effect that the word games had on the participating teachers in this experiment was that, in general terms, the teachers enjoyed them as much as the learners. The participating teachers enjoyed seeing their learners having fun with a productive, yet ludic activity. Research may yield valuable information on the type of word games and/or ludic activities that will motivate both the teachers and the learners to engage actively and productively in second language learning. It could be valuable to the field of second language learning and formal instruction, to identify the nature of pedagogical practices that are carried out in the classroom. Despite having evolved from the behaviorist mode of language instruction that emphasized habit formation through drill and practice to a communicative approach of language teaching and learning, second language pedagogy may still be beset by strategies that are outdated, and ultimately counterproductive. Studies could reveal how much, or how, little communicative practice takes place in the average, beginning-level, language course at the secondary or university level of instruction. This may serve as a link between SLA theory and practice in the classroom as teachers put into practice more communicative activities or activities that promote more student engagement in the learning process. Word games and other ludic activities may play a role in helping to create a positive, dynamic, communicative and motivating learning environment. Ultimately, word games and similar ludic activities should constitute a moderate component of a comprehensive, communicative, approach to SL pedagogy according to
144 some of the findings in this study. However, the effects of these activities on learner motivation may have a positive influence with overall learner attitude and perception concerning language learning. In turn, this may also positively affect learner language-production and success by motivating the learner to actively engage in the learning process. Second language learners in the formal academic environment constitute a captive audience. What a teacher does in the classroom to promote language learning will have the most profound effect on the success or failure of that enterprise. The methods s/he employs will determine the degree to which this noble goal is fulfilled. A first step that may be taken by the teacher to ensure positive results is to promote learner motivation in the classroom. Implementing pedagogical methods and activities that learners identify as motivating is a prudent strategy, provided these activities are academically sound. Certain types of word games and other ludic activities may achieve this goal; and choosing the proper ludic activities may have a liberating effect on the learner and s/he will be more motivated to learn.
APPENDIX A STUDENT BACKGROUND QUESTIONNAIRE No: Code Name: Background Questionnaire All Information Will Remain Confidential Gender: Female Male Course:________________ Section:__________________ Year: Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior Previous study of Spanish: a) In High School: 1 yr. 2 yrs. 3 yrs. 4 yrs. b) Spanish courses taken at the university level? What other languages have you studied? For how long? At what level? Do / did your parents speak any language other than English at home? No Yes Specify: ____________________________ If yes, do you respond to them in English? Yes No Please specify your reason for studying Spanish:_________________________________ Have you ever traveled to a Spanish speaking country? Yes No If yes, how long did you stay there? __________________________________ What was the purpose of your travel there?_____________________________________ Do you use Spanish in any way with someone outside of class? (roommate, friend, relative, work) (Please specify) 145
APPENDIX B INITIAL SPANISH CLASS MOTIVATION QUESTIONNAIRE I. Please mark your answer by circling one of the following numbers. Each number represents the degree to which you agree or disagree with the following statements. 1. I strongly agree. 2. I agree. 3. I neither agree nor disagree. 4. I disagree. 5. I strongly disagree 1. I anticipate enjoying this class very much. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 2. I find it difficult to come to class. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 3. I will consider taking additional Spanish classes here at UF. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 4. I dont like participating in group activities in this class. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5. I feel more tense and nervous in this class than in my other classes. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. The activities used in this class are fun and enjoyable. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 7 The atmosphere of a class is irrelevant to me. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 8 I have no interest in learning Spanish. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 9. I expect to feel comfortable in this class throughout the semester. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 10. I feel free to participate in group activities in this class. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 11. At the end of class, I often wish to continue with the activities. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 12. I am often bored in this class. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 13. I would recommend this class to other students. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 14. I have great interest in learning Spanish. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 15. The strategies used in this class are enjoyable. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 16. The atmosphere of the class is important to me. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 17. I only took this course because it is required. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 18. I will not recommend this class to anyone. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 19. I look forward to coming to class. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 20. No matter what we do in this class, I am anxious for it to end. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5 II Briefly, state what you anticipate enjoying the most and the least in this course. (Feel free to write on the back of this paper 146
147 Final Spanish Class Motivation Questionnaire I. Please mark your answer by circling one of the following numbers. Each number represents the degree to which you agree or disagree with the following statements. 1. I strongly agree. 2. I agree. 3. I neither agree nor disagree. 4. I disagree. 5. I strongly disagree 1. I enjoyed this class very much. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 2 I often found it difficult to come to class. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 3. I will consider taking additional Spanish classes here at UF. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 4. I didnt like participating in group activities in this class. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5. I felt more tense and nervous in this class than in my other classes. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. The activities used in this class were fun and enjoyable. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 7. The atmosphere of a class was irrelevant to me. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 8. I have had no interest in learning Spanish. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 9. I felt comfortable in this class throughout the semester. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 10. I felt free participating in group activities in this class. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 11. At the end of class, I often wished to continue with the activities. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 12. I was often bored in this class. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 13. I would recommend this class to other students. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 14. I have great interest in learning Spanish. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 15. The strategies used in this class were enjoyable. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 16. The atmosphere of the class was important to me. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 17. I only took this course because it was required. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 18. I will not recommend this class to anyone. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 19. I looked forward to coming to class. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 20. No matter what we did in this class, I was anxious for it to end. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5 II. Briefly, state what you enjoyed the most and the least in this course. (Feel free to write on the back of this paper):
APPENDIX C WORD GAME QUESTIONNAIRE (EXPERIMENTAL GROUP) I. Please mark your answer by circling one of the following numbers. Each number represents the degree to which you agree or disagree with the following statements. 1. I strongly agree. 2. I agree. 3. I neither agree nor disagree. 4. I disagree. 5. I strongly disagree. 1. I enjoyed playing the ______ game game in class. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 2. The ____ game was boring. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 3. I sensed that my classmates enjoyed the ______ game. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 4. I like it when our instructor introduces creative activities in the class. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5. Some games can help me learn vocabulary. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. The _____ game is an effective learning tool. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 7. In general, I disapprove of playing games in a language class. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 8. Playing games reduces the tension of a language class. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 9. I did not enjoy playing the _______game. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 10. The _______ game was fun. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 11. I would like to play the ______ game in class again. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 12. I dont think my classmates enjoyed the ______ game. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 13. Games create a positive environment in my Spanish class. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5 14. Games are not effective learning tools in a language class. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 15. The ______ game was a waste of my time. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5 16. Playing games increases the tension in a language class. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 17. Games should be an integral part of the curriculum of this class. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 18. Some games can help me learn grammar. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. II. Please write your impressions of what you experienced while playing the ______ game (Feel free to write on the back of this paper) 148
149 Spanish Class Questionnaire (Control Group) I. Please mark your answer by circling one of the following numbers. Each number represents the degree to which you agree or disagree with the following statements. 1. I strongly agree. 2. I agree. 3. I neither agree nor disagree. 4. I disagree. 5. I strongly disagree. 1. I enjoyed the activities in class today. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 2. The activities today were boring. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 3. I sensed that my classmates enjoyed class today. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 4. I like it when our instructor introduces creative activities in the class. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5. Todays activities can help me learn vocabulary. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. The strategies used in this class are effective learning tools. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 7. In general, I disapprove of the activities in this class. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 8. The activities in this class reduce the tension of a typical language class. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 9. I did not enjoy todays activities. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 10. The activities were fun. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 11. I would like to repeat todays activities another day. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5 12. I dont think my classmates enjoyed the activities of todays class 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 13. Our activities today created a positive environment in class. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 14. The strategies used in this class are not effective learning tools. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 15. Class today was a waste of my time. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5 16. Todays activities increased the tension of a typical language class. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 17. Activities such as those done today should be an integral part of the curriculum of this class. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 18. Todays activities helped me learn grammar. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. II. Please write your impressions of what you experienced in class today: (Feel free to write on the back of this paper):
APPENDIX D WORKSHEETS FOR GAMES ONE THROUGH FOUR VERBO LUGAR ADJ. / ADV PERSONA FAMOSA NOMBRE 150
151 Worksheet For Game 2: Que Es? 1) ? 1) ________________________________________________________________________ 2) ? 2) 3) ? 3) 4) ? 4)
152 Worksheet For Game 3: Sentence Formation Nombre/ sujeto de la oracin: (ejemplos: el marido, la esposa, la gente, los novios, la pareja, etc.) [Noun phrase as subject of sentence} Adjetivo: (ejemplos: amistoso, casadas, soltera, rebeldes, irresponsables, amable, locos, etc.) [Adjective] Verbo transitivo: (ejemplos: conducir, estacionar, comprar, estudiar, considerar, ver, mirar, etc.) [Transitive verb] Nombre/ objeto directo de la oracin: (ejemplos: el esposo, mi amigo, un bosque, un rbol, etc.) [Noun as direct object of the sentence] Frase preposicional: (ejemplos: en la fbrica, por el parque, para la boda, con los nios, hacia la gasolinera, por el taller, sin la violencia, en la playa, etc.) [Prepositional phrase]
153 Worksheet For Game 4: If Clause Contrary to fact conditional sentences in the present: A. Si yo tuviera el dinero, COMPRARIA UNA CASA NUEVA. B. YO COMPRARIA UNA CASA NUEVA si tuviera el dinero. Please write the first clause of a conditional sentence following the example A. above. 1. 2. 3. 4.
APPENDIX E WORD GAME INTERVIEW QUESTIONNAIRE Im going to ask you a few questions about the game you played in class today. Relax and please answer as frankly as possible, feel free to elaborate on any point you wish to make. 1. Did you enjoy playing the _________________game? If so, please detail what aspects of the game you particularly enjoyed. If not, please detail what aspects of the game you did not enjoy. 2. How do you feel about your instructor bringing games into the language classroom? Is it or is it not appropriate and why or why not? 3. What does bringing games into the class do for the class atmosphere in general? 4. Do you feel that a language can be learned while having fun in the classroom? 5. Does playing games in the classroom affect your relationship with your classmates? 6. Do you feel that your classmates enjoyed themselves while playing this game? 7. If you knew in advance that you may be playing a game in class, would it motivate you to come to class more so than if you knew that your class would be doing another type of language learning activity? 8. If you were teaching a language class, would you use games as a strategy for your students to learn? 9. While playing the game, what were you focusing on? 10. In very general terms, given the fact that you must come to class five days a week, what type of activities in foreign language classes make attending class worthwhile for you? 154
155 Word Game Interview (Instructors) I would like to get feedback on your impressions of and on your experience with the word games that we used in your classes. Feel free to elaborate on any of the following questions. You are also free not to answer any of the following questions. Please be as candid as you can. 1. Did you enjoy playing the word games with your students? If so why, or why not? 2. What does bringing word games into the classroom do for the atmosphere of the class? 3. Do you feel that languages can be learned by means of ludic activities? 4. Does playing games in the class affect in any way your relationship with your students? 5. Do you feel that the students enjoyed themselves while playing these games? If so, what evidence can you point to back your claim? 6. Will you use these games or games like them in future classes? 7. Did your opinion of games, or your perspective of using games in the classroom change at all as a result of this experiment? 8. What else would you like to add to this discussion?
156 Word Game Interview (Instructors) Spanish Version Me gustara saber algo sobre sus impresiones y su experiencia con respecto a los juegos que usamos en sus clases. Puede explicar con detalle sus respuestas. Tambin puede rehusar de contestar cualquiera de las preguntas. Favor de contestar francamente. 1. Le agrad el haber jugado los juegos de palabras con sus estudiantes? Por qu? 2. Qu efecto tiene en el ambiente, en general, el usar juegos en la clase? 3. Se puede aprender un idioma por medio de actividades ldicas? 4. Tiene algn efecto en la relacin profesor(a)-aprendiz cuando se emplean juegos en la clase? 5. Tiene Ud. la impresin de que los aprendices se divirtieron con estos juegos? 6. Usara Ud. estos juegos u otros parecidos en el futuro? 7. Cambi en algo su opinin o perspectiva en cuanto al uso de juegos en la clase como resultado directo de este experimento? 8. Le gustara aadir algo a esta charla?
APPENDIX F INTERVIEWS FOR GAME ONE: ALTO DALD (S1) & HNTS (S2) Im going to ask you a few questions about the game you played in class today. Relax and please answer as frankly as possible, feel free to elaborate on any point you wish to make. 1. Did you enjoy playing the Alto game? If so, please detail what aspects of the game you particularly enjoyed. If not, please detail what aspects of the game you did not enjoy. DALD: I did enjoy the class very much, the game, some of the aspects that I found were amusing were the fact that you have to think really quickly and your competing against your classmates. HNTS: Yeah, I also agree on the same aspects that I liked. I liked that it made you think about all the famous people and everything, and certain group members are working on certain sides and everything. And sometimes you couldnt of it and soI thought that it made you think a lot. DALD: I wish there were more things like that, you know, because, you know, when youre talking you have to think very quickly in the Spanish order of speaking and, you know, being in class you dont reallyyou have to stop and thinkok, whats this word, how do you conjugateand you dont really talk the normal Spanishto really be in the country So you think this helped you in a sense almost simulate a situation where you have respond quickly like you would have to in a second language environment? DALD: exactly. HNTS: yeah. 2. How do you feel about your instructor bringing games into the language classroom? Is it or is it not appropriate and why or why not? HNTS: I think that it is more than enough appropriate. Its kind of a break from the normal class where you sit in there and you get taught out of a book. And learning the vocabulary, its an interactive game which I believe helps to teach the language bettermore interactive, instead of DALD: Exactly the same, I have the same feelings. When I was younger, in school we use to play this kind of vocabulary games and it brought back those memories of how much I enjoyed actually being in the class. It is so interactive. 157
158 3. What does bringing games in to class do for the class atmosphere in general? DALD: It relaxes the environment. HNTS: Yeah, it kind of makes you come closer. Especially with your group or your classmates. You have fun, there is no tension, you know. If you dont get something, its a group effort basically, so its working together. 4. Do you feel that a language can be learned while having fun in the classroom? HNTS: Yeah, I believe thats how a language should be learned, having fun because, I mean, no one wants to just go in the classroom and sit down, read a book and learn. I mean, you want to have fun, play games and associate with the people in class. DALD: Definitely, a language can be learned when having games in the classroom. It gives you a chanceIT breaks the writing everythingIt seems weve done more writing in class than actually speaking and so my writing ability is more advanced than talking and by having auditory games, aural gamesthats better. 5. Does playing games in the classroom affect your relationship with your classmates? DALD: Depends on if it was an individual activity or a group activity. Like today, it was a group activity so it was very good because nobody felt out of place because they didnt know certain words because it was all group decision kind of people within the group making the group decision so nobody felt out of place or stupider than the other person kind of thing. So, group activities are really good versus individual activities. HNTS: Yeah, like I said before, it just kind of makes the group grow closer. If youve been in a group with other people, you meet newer people whenyou know sometimes one person wouldnt know anything, the next time theyll know something, so you dont feel bad if you dont know a word or something. 6. Do you feel that your classmates enjoyed themselves while playing this game? HNTS: I believe everyone enjoyed it from looking around the classroom. It was like everyone was trying to quickly think of words and, you know, they would yell out. Or they would, you knowpeople are laughing. It looked like everyone was having fun, I didnt see anyone who looked like they werent having fun. I didnt see anyone who looked like they werent enjoying themselves. DALD: I think everyone had a good time, enjoyed themselves. 7. If your knew in advance that you may be playing a game in class, would it motivate you to come to class more so than if you knew that your class would be doing another type of language learning activity? DALD: That would depend on what kind of day Ive had so far. If it was on material I knew I had down pretty good, I might would come just so I could show how advanced I was. Or, if I wasnt having such a good day, I dont know if I would come or not. You mean to come to play a game? No, If I already knew the material, I probably wouldnt come. HNTS: Yeah, I enjoy the day with games rather than not so, but when I looked at the activity for today, I knew we were going to play a game and even though I almost
159 didnt go to my first period, I thought: oh, Ill go to my second period because theres not going to be anything that is going to be boring. 8. If you were teaching a language class, would you use games as a strategy for your students to learn? HNTS: Yeah, I would use games because I think it helps people maybe relate to a language or learn it in a different sense than just black and white. It gives it more of a cultural feel, more of a well-rounded teaching of the language. DALD: Definitely we would have games. One game that we use to play was around the world and I thinkI think classes like language classes can definitely do thaterr, two people compete against each other; they sit by their desks and you could call out a verb in English and theyd have to say it in Spanish and that way you could, likethe skills are being more rapidcome quicker to you andum, have games during cultural days in classand, you know, never even hardly open the book much, except, you know, for some necessary things that we have to do inId incorporate games in everything. 9. While playing the Alto game, what were you focusing on? DALD: Words that began with the letters and the fact of winning and trying to get it running just random words through my mind, you know, the famous people, I was trying to think of all the famous Hispanic, Spanish people I knew anduh, just in case they said a letter or basically running a lot of words through my mind. DALD: I also was doing the same thingjustwhat the letter might it fall on and trying to be prepared. 10. In very general terms, given the fact that you must come to class five days a week, what type of activities in foreign language classes make attending class worthwhile for you? DALD: This semester its been having a teacher as very organized and prepared asreally understand how to teach a class as (my teacher) has been. It really helps having a teacher who knows how to teach versus a person who just speaks Spanish who is put into a classroom to teach a class. Because, you know, that was very difficult when I had a professor like that versus somebody who really knows how to teachand so, just how interactive and how involved she tries to get her students to be has been a real great asset to learning Spanish. HNTS: I agree with the same way about how she is a good teacher and the way she teaches its a good style instead of just writing stuff on the board and not exactly teaching. More of the interactive games, especially when we go to the lab or whatever, and we watch movies or whatever in Spanish, it gives you more a feel of the language than just reading it, hearing it and seeing it
Interview For Game One: Alto Aner (S3) Im going to ask you a few questions about the game you played in class today. Relax and please answer as frankly as possible, feel free to elaborate on any point you wish to make. 1. Did you enjoy playing the Alto game? If so, please detail what aspects of the game you particularly enjoyed. If not, please detail what aspects of the game you did not enjoy. ANER: Yeah, I enjoyed it, it was loosely competitive. It was fun, and specially on a Friday, I dont usually like doing a lot of hard work, so it was fun. 2. How do you feel about your instructor bringing games into the language classroom? Is it or is it not appropriate and why or why not? ANER: I like the idea of bringing games in because we do have to come here five days a week, so it gets a little boring without them. Although, I would say, I dont think we learn quite as much when we play a gameor at least this game, as we do when she just teaches us straight. But then again, if she always teaches straight, then we dont pay as much attention, so a little variety is good. 3. What does bringing games in to class do for the class atmosphere in general? ANER: I think it makes the class atmosphere more fun and relaxed. And it makes people probably enjoy coming a little more. 4. Do you feel that a language can be learned while having fun in the classroom? ANER: Yeah, I think its an important part actually because a lot of people here I dont think see theI mean, its such a long term goal learning a language, it takes 5 or 6 years, so its nice to have breaks every once in a while. 5. Does playing games in the classroom affect your relationship with your classmates? ANER: Yeah, it makes me closer to my classmates, at least the ones I sit around. If I want to get to know the people on the other side of the room, maybe you could have us mix up the types of people that are in the groups. 6. Do you feel that your classmates enjoyed themselves while playing this game? ANER: I think everyone enjoyed it. Most people were smiling, laughing, having a good time. It was more fun than what we normally do. 7. If your knew in advance that you may be playing a game in class, would it motivate you to come to class more so than if you knew that your class would be doing another type of language learning activity? ANER: Id probably rather come on a game day than any other day. But I sort of have to come everyday because of the attendance policy anyways. 8. If you were teaching a language class, would you use games as a strategy for your students to learn? ANER: Yeah, I would try and use games every Friday. 160
161 9. While playing the Alto game, what were you focusing on? ANER: I was focusing on strategy. But Im just that type of person. Im pretty competitive about everything. Soan I was trying to think of unusual words that I dont normally use because you wanted to come up with ones that the other groups dont know. So it was sort of a mental activity. 10. In very general terms, given the fact that you must come to class five days a week, what type of activities in foreign language classes make attending class worthwhile for you? ANER: You mean for learning? Yes, in general. Oh, boy, well, I think that we do most of our learning when we are home studying. So its good when she supplements the activities because we get a list of like a hundred things that we have to learn every couple of weeks. And its hard to put them into sentences in your head when you dont have Spanish speakers around you. So its good just to hear the language constantly, and so, when we just do a lot of activities where we speak using the vocabulary, thats good
162 Interview For Game One: Alto Wehi (S4) Im going to ask you a few questions about the game you played in class today. Relax and please answer as frankly as possible, feel free to elaborate on any point you wish to make. 1. Did you enjoy playing the Alto game? If so, please detail what aspects of the game you particularly enjoyed. If not, please detail what aspects of the game you did not enjoy. WEHI: I really enjoyed the game. It made mehelped me to think back on all the information that Ive learned in Spanish I and even in this classthink of places, Latin American, like places and words, so it was really cool. 2. How do you feel about your instructor bringing games into the language classroom? Is it or is it not appropriate and why or why not? WEHI: I think its very appropriate because it makes the learning fun instead of just monotonous. Like, ok, pronunciation, verbs, conjugationsso, it makes it fun. 3. What does bringing games in to class do for the class atmosphere in general? WEHI: I know in my group we were really, we were kind of competitive. But we were having fun with itlike, like, come on, come on, we can do it, we can do it, soI think it brings a fun atmosphere, laid back. 4. Do you feel that a language can be learned while having fun in the classroom? WEHI: Absolutely. 5. Does playing games in the classroom affect your relationship with your classmates? WEHI: Yeah, I think, I mean, when you have fun together, it feels more of a friendship than just, like, peers. 6. Do you feel that your classmates enjoyed themselves while playing this game? WEHI: Yeah, I think that we had a lot, well, my classmates had a lot of fun because we were laughing a lot, we were smiling, there was a lot of good vibes coming from each of the people in my group. 7. If your knew in advance that you may be playing a game in class, would it motivate you to come to class more so than if you knew that your class would be doing another type of language learning activity? WEHI: Absolutely because I would want to be the one that wins (laughter). So you like the competitive aspect of games? Yeah (laughter). 8. If you were teaching a language class, would you use games as a strategy for your students to learn? WEHI: Yes I would because I think it would motivate my students to come to class. Like ifit would be a break from the everyday learning process and it wouldyou get extra creditI meanit would be something fun for them to do, so I think it would motivate them. 9. While playing the Alto game, what were you focusing on?
163 WEHI: I was focusing on just, I dont know, just everything that Ive learned. I was trying to ok, what are the verbs I know with Bs, like just trying to rapidly recall all the information that Ive learned, things Ive read So, were you thinking along the lines of: a verb, an adjective, a noun Yeah, yeah. 10. In very general terms, given the fact that you must come to class five days a week, what type of activities in foreign language classes make attending class worthwhile for you? WEHI: I like the listening comprehension and reading comprehension but, when we played Spanish Jeopardy in class, that was a lot of fun. So, I just like Spanish. Im interested in learning Spanish. So, coming to Spanish class is no problem for me. I like learning, so
APPENDIX G WORD GAME INTERVIEW GAME TWO: QUE ES? DALD (S1) & HNTS (S2) Im going to ask you a few questions about the game you played in class today. Relax and please answer as frankly as possible, feel free to elaborate on any point you wish to make. 1. Did you enjoy playing the Qu es? game? If so, please detail what aspects of the game you particularly enjoyed. If not, please detail what aspects of the game you did not enjoy. DALD: I had a really good time playing the game especially because the partner I was withevern though its supposed to be unusual answers to peculiar questions, our answers seem to coincide with each other, so it seemed like it was just straight up ask and answer. HNTS: I thought it was a fun game too, I thought a lot of the answers were funny because you didnt know what to expect as far as the question. My partner also, our questions matched up, like, for some reason. 2. How do you feel about your instructor bringing games into the language classroom? Is it or is it not appropriate and why or why not? HNTS: I definitely think its appropriate. I think its a change from the norm. I think people enjoy it, you know? I dont really see anything wrong with it. DALD: I had a really good time playing it. I think that a professor should incorporate games into the classroom because it changes things up and creates a little liveliness to the class. 3. What does bringing games in to class do for the class atmosphere in general? DALD: It relaxes the class and you come to class knowing for theyou come to class knowing that that day you dont really have to stress out and worry about taking down all the notes about making sure you get everything for the new section that youre covering. You just come to class relaxed and, you know, really just absorb what you are learning in the game. HNTS: It definitely relaxes a little more because, you know, youre sitting there with your partner and youre having fun and then you share with the rest of your group, and you know, everyone laughs when you come up with funny answers, and no one is shy at that time, even the people who are generally shythey actually come out those times. 4. Do you feel that a language can be learned while having fun in the classroom? 164
165 HNTS: Yeah, I actually learned a couple of words today, like, on the board that I didnt know what they were until I asked a couple of people. But I think a fun game helps you learn a little much better than a textbook, I think learning through, like, doing. DALD: I definitely think that playing games can aid you in learning the new material that is covered in class. 5. Does playing games in the classroom affect your relationship with your classmates? DALD: Definitely, because a lot of times, students who answer questions over and over in everyday normal classroom settingother students who dont quite talk as much as some students, kind of feel like, oh well, thats the person who is smart in the class and they are going to answer everythingkind of start to get a little edge on them, you know a little nudge towards them, versus just playing a game, you know, everybody is able to chime in freely. Its not as strenuous on each person. HNTS: I think it helps the relationship between classmates and makes it more comfortable towards each other; instead of just sitting in a desk right next to the person you are actually talking to him and trying to get something achieved as far as the game. I just think it definitely helps. 6. Do you feel that your classmates enjoyed themselves while playing this game? HNTS: Yeah, I think people definitely enjoyed themselves or they wouldnt have aroundand they came up with funny answers. Or their answers matched up well participated. Everyone wanted to do it. You could hear laughing and people joking and they were just surprised, and I think they definitely enjoyed it. DALD: My sense of feeling was that everybody did enjoy playing the game today. 7. If your knew in advance that you may be playing a game in class, would it motivate you to come to class more so than if you knew that your class would be doing another type of language learning activity? HNTS: Yeah, well, last night I worked until about 3 a.m. and if we werent playing the game, if we were just doing a regular old Spanish exercise, I probably wouldnt have come but I knew that we were going to play the game, I knew itd be interestingso thatsand this is my only class today... thats probably the only reason why I came. DALD: Ive been thinking about that question quite a bit, Im excited to say that my outlook on playing games in class has changed because I do look forward to coming to class now and doing something other than looking at the board every day to learn new material, and its great learning it in a different way. 8. If you were teaching a language class, would you use games as a strategy for your students to learn? DALD: Oh, absolutely, some students donteveryone doesnt learn the same way and I think maybe if you teach new material through the use of playing games, that might help some students who dont learn by just watching the teacher speak it all day long.
166 HNTS: Yeah, definitely, if I were a teacher, I would play gamesit has all different aspects too, it relaxes the classroom, it teaches a different way, makes kids want to come to class. I definitely think that its a good way to teachit should be incorporated.. 9. While playing the game, composing questions and answers, what were you focusing on? HNTS: Whenever I would think of a question, I was like, just thinking of a general question. Not too specific, some were specific, asking what is this, but uh, the answers, I just kind of opened my mind and whatever came into my mind first is what I wrote. Sometimes they were funny, sometimes they were like, good, matched up with the other persons question, but basically I just decided to let whatever came in DALD: I have to agree with the other subject, I tried to think of whatever came to mind first. yeah, one, I was trying to concentrate on material that weve learned in class because not everyone might have the same vocabulary as I do, which is kind of outside the classroom, but especially vocabulary that weve already covered in class. 10. In very general terms, given the fact that you must come to class five days a week, what type of activities in foreign language classes make attending class worthwhile for you? DALD: Talking, interacting with both the teacher and the students because Im using my vocabulary in everyday conversationthat wouldI know its going to help me when I travel to countries that speak Spanish. HNTS: Uhm, just, I think, more interactive games, I mean, group work, not just like doing activities out of a book, you know, like do part Aits more of a playing games, doing computer things, doing group work that is interesting and funyeah, thats probably the thing that will make me come to class, probably.
167 Word Game Interview Game Two: Que Es? Aner (S2) Im going to ask you a few questions about the game you played in class today. Relax and please answer as frankly as possible, feel free to elaborate on any point you wish make. 1. Did you enjoy playing the Qu es? game? If so, please detail what aspects of the game you particularly enjoyed. If not, please detail what aspects of the game you did not enjoy. ANER: I enjoyed it because I had fun with it. But I dont really think it taught me anything. And Im not really having trouble with the class, but if I was, Id probably be a little upset that I didnt really learn from it and we could have used that class time for something else. 2. How do you feel about your instructor bringing games into the language classroom? Is it or is it not appropriate and why or why not? ANER: Well, I think its appropriate when we have class five days a week because it gets pretty boring without something interactive. But maybe itd be better if we play a gamebut doing something fun 3. What does bringing games in to class do for the class atmosphere in general? ANER: It makes it more relaxed and it makes it a little bit easier to come. 4. Do you feel that a language can be learned while having fun in the classroom? ANER: Yeah, I think uhI think its pretty hard to learn language if youre not having any fun with it because the reward of being able to travel to a Spanish country or whatever is so far off in the future that its pretty hard to keep going everyday just based on that. 5. Does playing games in the classroom affect your relationship with your classmates? ANER: Yeah, the people sitting around me I get to know better but, I mean, I really dont get to know anyone else in the classroom better. 6. Do you feel that your classmates enjoyed themselves while playing this game? ANER: I definitely think they enjoyed themselves because they were stretching their imagination to find different kinds of words to make pretty unusual sentences. 7. If your knew in advance that you may be playing a game in class, would it motivate you to come to class more so than if you knew that your class would be doing another type of language learning activity? ANER: I guess Id be looking forward to it a little more because Id be having a little more fun. But if I had the choice I wouldnt come because Id be learning it then rather from my own way. 8. If you were teaching a language class, would you use games as a strategy for your students to learn?
168 ANER: Yeah, I probably would. 9. While playing the game, composing questions and answers, what were you focusing on? ANER: I wasnt reallyI was just relaxed, I was basically letting go, not thinking too hard 10. In very general terms, given the fact that you must come to class five days a week, what type of activities in foreign language classes make attending class worthwhile for you? ANER: Well definitely learning the vocabulary helps. Being able to speak it helps me put it in sentences and put them on the test so I could associate what sounds right just because Ive heard things that the teacher said in class, that probably helps the most
169 Word Game Interview Game Two: Que Es? Wehi (S4) Im going to ask you a few questions about the game you played in class today. Relax and please answer as frankly as possible, feel free to elaborate on any point you wish to make. 1. Did you enjoy playing the Qu es? game? If so, please detail what aspects of the game you particularly enjoyed. If not, please detail what aspects of the game you did not enjoy. WEHI: I personally, I really did notI dont know, I didnt like the game as much as I liked the previous game because it was because it wasnt really challengingsoI like to be challengedits just sort of, ok, youre right, youre partner is right. But there wasnt really that much interaction with the group. 2. How do you feel about your instructor bringing games into the language classroom? Is it or is it not appropriate and why or why not? WEHI: I think its very appropriate. I like the games a lot because it does help to bring unity to the classroom, it helps to make it fun and fresh, it helps me to learn better and for me to enjoy just coming to class everyday. 3. What does bringing games in to class do for the class atmosphere in general? WEHI: Ifrom what Ive heard, from the rest of the students, we like it a lot. It makes it funit makesIts sort of like, refreshing for you to go through classes where you sit through lectures all day long and come and be able to play games. 4. Do you feel that a language can be learned while having fun in the classroom? WEHI: Absolutely, I think what makes a languagelike, what makes people want to learn a different language is having fun, and doing some of the games are a good tactic to use. 5. Does playing games in the classroom affect your relationship with your classmates? WEHI: Yeah, I think weve grown a lot closer since the beginning of the semester and, like playing different gamesI know that, me, likeI talk to them if I see them outside of class or something like. So its more of a friendship now. 6. Do you feel that your classmates enjoyed themselves while playing this game? WEHI: Yeah, they did enjoy it, I heard a lot of laughing. And some of the responses were funny, so I felt they enjoyed it. 7. If your knew in advance that you may be playing a game in class, would it motivate you to come to class more so than if you knew that your class would be doing another type of language learning activity? WEHI: Yes, because sometimes when Im really tired or really stressed out, I dont want to go to class because it adds another stresser, but with games its just a relaxing atmosphere, I have fun, so its not like the pressure that I have in other classes.
170 8. If you were teaching a language class, would you use games as a strategy for your students to learn? WEHI: Yeah, I think that they would enjoy coming to class, they would enjoy the language, and they might even want to pursue further studying the language because of it. 9. While playing the game, composing questions and answers, what were you focusing on? WEHI: I guess I was focusing on likeuh, what am I going to say? Is it going to make sense? Like, I cant look at the question, this is likejust trying to write stuff down, and if I didnt remember things, I would have to look up like different words or stuff like that. 10. In very general terms, given the fact that you must come to class five days a week, what type of activities in foreign language classes make attending class worthwhile for you? WEHI: Well, for me to come to class like thatI enjoy Spanish class, so, I mean the games are fun, I like learning new vocabulary and reading stories and stuff, that makes me like to come to class, so
APPENDIX H WORD GAME INTERVIEW GAME THREE: SENTENCE FORMATION HTNS (S1) /(DALD (S2) DID NOT PARTICIPATE) Im going to ask you a few questions about the game you played in class today. Relax and please answer as frankly as possible, feel free to elaborate on any point you wish tomake. 1. Did you enjoy playing the sentence formation game? If so, please detail what aspects of the game you particularly enjoyed. If not, please detail what aspects of the game you did not enjoy. HNTS: I enjoyed the sentence formation game. I liked working with the group, thinking quickly of what to writedifferent parts of the sentence, whether its the subject or the verb or the direct object, but, yeah, I liked the game. 2. How do you feel about your instructor bringing games into the language classroom? Is it or is it not appropriate and why or why not? HNTS: I believe that bringing games into the classroom is appropriate, especially if they are relevant to the topic and what you are trying to do in class. Again, if it had nothing to do with Spanish or learning about language, it wouldnt be relevant. But everything weve done so far, and the game we played today was helpful 3. What does bringing games in to class do for the class atmosphere in general? HNTS: It definitely, kinda decreases the tension, I mean, especially the people who arent usually active in class, or are quiet or whatever, it kinda forces them to participate, and kind of lets them get to know people and be a little more vocal, interactive. 4. Do you feel that a language can be learned while having fun in the classroom? HNTS: Yeah, definitely, there were a couple of words that I didnt know, but now, ask what the words wereand it really helps, definitely. 5. Does playing games in the classroom affect your relationship with your classmates? HNTS: It definitely affects it, it makes it better. Im now better friends with the people, especially in my group that I interacted with more, and people who come from the other side of the room to be in my group, you become better friends and more comfortable with each other. 6. Do you feel that your classmates enjoyed themselves while playing this game? HNTS: Oh yeah, definitely, it sounded like everyone was having a pretty good time. I know my group was having fun, you know, were all laughing anduh, surprised at some of the answers andyeah, I think everyone had a good time. 171
172 7. If your knew in advance that you may be playing a game in class, would it motivate you to come to class more so than if you knew that your class would be doing another type of language learning activity? HNTS: Yeah, it would definitely motivate me. I kind of forgot we had it today, I knew it was this week sometime. But usually we come to class and it is generally boring, I guess, to say, just sitting there, opening your book and readingthat doesnt help me learn that much. But today, definitely, it was more interesting, I enjoyed it a lot more. 8. If you were teaching a language class, would you use games as a strategy for your students to learn? HNTS: If I was teaching a class, I would definitely use games when they were appropriate, yeah, to kind of break tension or to help the students learn. 9. While playing the game, what were you focusing on? HNTS: Well, seeing how we started the sentence with a different person, I wasnt always the one doing the subject. I was always thinking. And whenever the paper started behind me, I was thinking: ok, Im going to be the third one, so I was thinking of the direct object, and what would be a general direct object. And just thinking of different words to make sure that certain verbs feel like, you know, qu, if you could use the qu and that I may introduce verbs like that 10. In very general terms, given the fact that you must come to class five days a week, what type of activities in foreign language classes make attending class worthwhile for you? HNTS: Definitely interactive games, um, or interactive studying, I mean, just things that break it up a little, I mean, its ok to have one day of learning the words but if you just read all time, youre not vocal, youre not kind of interactive, you dont learn the whole subjectyou dont learn the whole subject I guess.
173 Word Interview Game Three: Sentence Formation Aner (S3) Im going to ask you a few questions about the game you played in class today. Relax and please answer as frankly as possible, feel free to elaborate on any point you wish to make. 1. Did you enjoy playing the sentence formation game? If so, please detail what aspects of the game you particularly enjoyed. If not, please detail what aspects of the game you did not enjoy. ANER: Yeah, I enjoyed it, it was relaxing, weve been having a lot of homework lately so it was a good break from that. And I learned somere-remembered some old vocabulary we had learned. And I had forgotten what a prepositional phrase was, so I relearned that. 2. How do you feel about your instructor bringing games into the language classroom? Is it or is it not appropriate and why or why not? ANER: Yeah, I think it is appropriate, especially in a class that meets five times a week, so it gets pretty boring after a while without some sort of thing to mix up the activities. 3. What does bringing games in to class do for the class atmosphere in general? ANER: It lets us get to know each other a little better and it loosens up the atmosphere which could be tense with people being bored after a while. 4. Do you feel that a language can be learned while having fun in the classroom? ANER: Yeah, I think that its hard to learn a languageuh, to be doing it for four Years when youre not having fun. So its important. 5. Does playing games in the classroom affect your relationship with your classmates? ANER: Yeah, I get to know the people around me. But, I only get to know the people in my circle in the room because every time weve played a game it always with the people around us. 6. Do you feel that your classmates enjoyed themselves while playing this game? ANER: Yeah, I think almost everyone had a good time. I think some people had a specially good time. And some people who dont normally participate in class that much seemed to really get into this. 7. If your knew in advance that you may be playing a game in class, would it motivate you to come to class more so than if you knew that your class would be doing another type of language learning activity? ANER: Yeah, well, since I have to go to class anyway, I prefer the days when I could play a game or something than to have to sit in class and listen to vocabulary all day or something like that.
174 8. If you were teaching a language class, would you use games as a strategy for your students to learn? ANER: Yeah, once a week or once every two weeks, Id try to do something like this. And I would try to pick games that were productive and more oriented towards learning. I thought I learned a lot from todays game as opposed to some other games. 9. While playing the game, what were you focusing on? ANER: I was trying to pick unusual words or words that we had learned a long time ago that people had forgotten, so we could make more unusual sentences. 10. In very general terms, given the fact that you must come to class five days a week, what type of activities in foreign language classes make attending class worthwhile for you? ANER: Well, since our class is so condensed and there are so many tests, the most useful thing we do in class are the activities that help me with specific information thats going to be on a test. But that gets pretty boring after a while so its nice to have a game thrown in there once in a while, or sort of a party activity.
175 Word Game Interview Game Three: Sentence Formation Wehi (S4) Im going to ask you a few questions about the game you played in class today. Relax and please answer as frankly as possible, feel free to elaborate on any point you wish to make. 1. Did you enjoy playing the Sentence formation game? If so, please detail what aspects of the game you particularly enjoyed. If not, please detail what aspects of the game you did not enjoy. WEHI: I didnt enjoy the game today, sentence formation, because I find it that it is harder for me to think in Spanish especially when I have to incorporate, like, a noun with a verb and a prepositional phrase and all that. Its hard for me to form the thoughts in Spanish from English so it was very frustrating. 2. How do you feel about your instructor bringing games into the language classroom? Is it or is it not appropriate and why or why not? WEHI: I love that she brings games to the classroom. I think its very appropriate because it lightens the atmosphere, it helps the students enjoy learning and it just builds unity in the classroom between the students. 3. What does bringing games in to class do for the class atmosphere in general WEHI: REFER TO THE LAST ANSWER. 4. Do you feel that a language can be learned while having fun in the classroom? WEHI: Most definitely, I think that everything should be learned through having fun. If youre not having fun, there is no use in learning. 5. Does playing games in the classroom affect your relationship with your classmates? WEHI: Yes, it does. Im having better friendships with my classmates because of the Games. We call each other even when were not in class and we, like, see eac other and say hi, like its built friendships. 6. Do you feel that your classmates enjoyed themselves while playing this game? WEHI:(The interviewer inadvertently missed this question). 7. If your knew in advance that you may be playing a game in class, would it motivate you to come to class more so than if you knew that your class would be doing another type of language learning activity? WEHI: Yes, it would motivate me to study because I like to do my best in anything and when playing games, I want to be able to win so I would study and make sure that I know my stuff. 8. If you were teaching a language class, would you use games as a strategy for your students to learn? WEHI: Yes I would, I think its a very, very important tool that teachers need to use because it would just make the students want to learn more and be more interested and morepay more attention in class.
176 9. While playing the game, what were you focusing on? WEHI: I was just getting frustrated because I couldnt think of, like, like the specific things that we were being asked, like I couldnt think of prepositional phrase, I couldnt think of, like, different adjectives to describe the nouns and it was just frustrating; my brain was just going crazy. 10. In very general terms, given the fact that you must come to class five days a week, what type of activities in foreign language classes make attending class worthwhile for you? WEHI: Like, for instance today, after the game we translated English sentences into Spanish sentences and that made it fun for me, just being able to see my progress from one week to the next on how Im learning different verb tenses and stuffthat makes me want to come to classes, want to learn, andgames as well, just like the fun atmosphere of the class.
APPENDIX I WORD GAME INTERVIEW GAME FOUR: THE IF-CLAUSE GAME DALD (S1), HNTS(S2) Im going to ask you a few questions about the game you played in class today. Relax and please answer as frankly as possible, feel free to elaborate on any point you wish to make. 1. Did you enjoy playing the If-clause game? If so, please detail what aspects of the game you particularly enjoyed. If not, please detail what aspects of the game you did not enjoy. DALD: I enjoyed the game today it was veryit helped us utilize the material we were learning in this chapter for this test coming and everything. Maybe you could have improved on it by having verbs written on the board instead of trying to think of it all and putting it all down so it was fun, I enjoyed it. HNTS: I thought it was a fun game, it was sort of like all the ones we played where one person will write something and the following person will write something else. It was hard though sometimes just thinking of what goes in the right place. We really havent done much practice with using like if this then resultingso we kinda placed certain words in the right place 2. How do you feel about your instructor bringing games into the language classroom? Is it or is it not appropriate and why or why not? DALD: Oh, I think its very appropriate because you should have different styles of learningwell, one student might learn one way and another student might learn another way and that person might like the use of games HNTS: Yeah, I agree with what she said. Not every day, games kinda thrown in the mix and kinda cheer up the class a little bitsomeone goes to class and opens the book every day just learning out of the book or doing the worksheets or just a game every now and then kinda mix it up and make the class a little more fun 3. What does bringing games in to class do for the class atmosphere in general? HNTS: It makes it very comfortable with your groupyou know youre working together and its hard to figure things out and it just makes it a lot more comfortable when youre learning something and youre shy and people who are generally shy you speak out during the game. DALD: I think games make the atmosphere less stressful and there is not as much tension in the class with games. 177
178 4. Do you feel that a language can be learned while having fun in the classroom? HNTS: Yeah, it can definitely be learned, especially if the (incomprehensible) are taught like You cant justyou know, youre going to get me, you have to show them why thisand show them why this and show them how to do the verbs correctly because you cant just play games without knowing the rules basically, so teaching that helps a lot. DALD: Oh, absolutely, I think audital games are a very important part of that. And the games weve playedthese games utilize the audital and the written at the same time. 5. Does playing games in the classroom affect your relationship with your classmates? DALD: It helps you get to know your classmates better because it gives you a chance to see how they think and what kind of ideas they come up with HNTS: Yeah, I agree. You can see peoples skills and what they are thinking of because they are trying to guess what you wrote and it just kindakinda all work together even though they cant see what you wrote theyre trying to thinkguess what you wrote so it can help you get to know them better DALD: You also see who you think alike and who thinks the same that you do and friendships could be formed. 6. Do you feel that your classmates enjoyed themselves while playing this game? HNTS: Yeah, I think everyone had fun. I didnt hear anyone complain or anyone sitting down not participating. Everyone participated, everyone had fun, had to write somethingand they didnt complain about it, they seemed to have a good time. DALD: I agree. I think also that it was a little disappointing not to be able to play longer. You get going and all of a sudden its like over, and its like ah, dang. 7. If your knew in advance that you may be playing a game in class, would it motivate you to come to class more so than if you knew that your class would be doing another type of language learning activity? DALD: Definitely, since Ive known what days youve been coming, I look forward to it. Especially coming those days because it can get very long and tedious going through all this material, just going through the book, so knowing that games are going to be played on certain days has made It a lot more motivatedIve become a lot more motivated to want to come those days especially HNTS: Yeah, same with me, whenever were playing a game, Id rather come because class just goes by much quicker, especially having fun like (incomprehensible) but usually when I come in I was looking at my watch
179 waiting for class to end, you know, because its boring. But when we play a game time goes by much quicker and youre having fun learning DALD: You are able to recall things you learned playing games (incomprehensible) you can think back oh, yeah, when we did so and so thats why you do it this way, you know, and you remember the material through the gamenot necessarily just the rule behind it but you remember when you played it and how you played it and why you played it 8. If you were teaching a language class, would you use games as a strategy for your students to learn? HNTS: Oh, definitely, I would use games here and there. First maybe to teach a subject, you know let them have some background and then use the game to reinforce how to use it, and make it kinda of fun so the students are not just sitting there; learn information they can actually use it in a comfortable atmosphere.. DALD: I would use all sorts of games when youre teaching a foreign language to just to benefit the students 9. While playing the game, what were you focusing on? DALD: The structure of the sentences, how to put them together and make sure they are in the right order. And then what tense to use where to place each tense. HNTS: I was just focusing onwe havent really use the if and the resulting we havent really used it that much so I actually had to learn today what to doI would try to think of it in English and then think of how to write it in Spanish. Or write it in Spanish and see if it made any sense in Englishif I used the rightif it was regularI was just focusing on how to do it. DALD: Also, I was trying to think about how toI was just trying to expand my vocabulary instead of just using comer or hablar, teneryou know, use words that weve learned but that we dont necessarily use on an everyday basis. 10. In very general terms, given the fact that you must come to class five days a week, what type of activities in foreign language classes make attending class worthwhile for you? DALD: Group activities where you get to speak and talk and interact with your partners because youre able to use your grammar and your structural skills that you learned how to write and use when you speak and thats an important issue that Im trying to work on. HNTS: I would kinda toss moreif I knew were doing things in group work, interactive things morelike I said, you know, class just goes by so slow if were reading out of the book or shell say do section Aits not really motivating because she didnt explain it, you dont know what to do with it. If its more of a game thing, she could teach it and then we could play the game, it would be more motivating to come to class (imcomprehensible)...
180 Word Game Interview Game Four: The If-Clause Game Aner (S3) Im going to ask you a few questions about the game you played in class today. Relax and please answer as frankly as possible, feel free to elaborate on any point you wish to make. 1. Did you enjoy playing the If-clause game? If so, please detail what aspects of the game you particularly enjoyed. If not, please detail what aspects of the game you did not enjoy. ANER: Yeah, I enjoyed it. I didnt really think that it was more fun than the last games, but this time it was about a concept that we had just learned about like two nights ago, so it was kind of helpful in reviewing for that. 2. How do you feel about your instructor bringing games into the language classroom? Is it or is it not appropriate and why or why not? ANER: Its nice because were here five days a week and we get pretty tired after a while so, its a pretty nice break from all that. 3. What does bringing games in to class do for the class atmosphere in general? ANER: It loosens up the atmosphere and people are a little less tired of coming to class, thats basically it. 4. Do you feel that a language can be learned while having fun in the classroom? ANER: Yeah, it gets um, I mean, were only in Spanish one so its really hard to speak the language and everything. Its really frustrating sometimes so its good to have just a couple of days where its a little bit more relaxed. 5. Does playing games in the classroom affect your relationship with your classmates? ANER: Yeah, it helps me get to know the people around me better, but I think it might be better if we switched up who in the class we play with so that we can get to know everyone in the class better. ME: I noticed that today you moved to another section of the class, did that have any effect on you? ANER: Yeah, I got to know three people that I didnt really know at all which was good. I got to learn their names and things like that. 6. Do you feel that your classmates enjoyed themselves while playing this game? ANER: Yeah, I think they relatively enjoyed themselves, although the people around me were talking a lot about their private lives too often so we enjoyed that but the game itself, yeah, people enjoyed it. 7. If your knew in advance that you may be playing a game in class, would it motivate you to come to class more so than if you knew that your class would be doing another type of language learning activity?
181 ANER: Yeah, because there is mandatory attendance in my class, Id rather be there having fun than doing just rote learning. 8. If you were teaching a language class, would you use games as a strategy for your students to learn? ANER: Yes, I would definitely to shake things up and to give them a little variety. 9. While playing the game, what were you focusing on? ANER: I was trying to find the strangest sentence I could possibly put together or the strangest happening sentence I could put together. 10. In very general terms, given the fact that you must come to class five days a week, what type of activities in foreign language classes make attending class worthwhile for you? ANER: When we mainly focus on the vocab. and the grammar, those are the two main areasuh, for some reason in our program they dont really teach pronunciation much, so any activity that can help us with those helps us on the test.
182 Word Game Interview Game Four: The If-Clause Game Wehi (S4) Im going to ask you a few questions about the game you played in class today. Relax and please answer as frankly as possible, feel free to elaborate on any point you wish to make. 1. Did you enjoy playing the if-clause game game? If so, please detail what aspects of the game you particularly enjoyed. If not, please detail what aspects of the game you did not enjoy. WEHI: I liked playing the if game but it wasnt one of the better games. I liked it because I learned how to phrase new phrases in Spanish that I didnt know before. 2. How do you feel about your instructor bringing games into the language classroom? Is it or is it not appropriate and why or why not? WEHI: I think that it is awesome that she brings games into the classroom and I think that it is very appropriate because it just makes it a fun atmosphere. 3. What does bringing games in to class do for the class atmosphere in general? WEHI: It makes it fun laid back, it makes students want to come because they know that its not just going to be like drilling and monotonous its going to be fun and entertaining. 4. Do you feel that a language can be learned while having fun in the classroom? WEHI: Yes I do, I think that it is the only way that a language should be learned. 5. Does playing games in the classroom affect your relationship with your classmates? WEHI: Yeah, it makes it more of a friendship than just being like peers. 6. Do you feel that your classmates enjoyed themselves while playing this game? WEHI: Yeah, I heard a lot of laughing and there was a lot of funny phrases so I think they had a good time. 7. If your knew in advance that you may be playing a game in class, would it motivate you to come to class more so than if you knew that your class would be doing another type of language learning activity? WEHI: Yeah, because I know that if we were playing a game then it wouldnt be as stressful, and I can just go and relax and have fun and not have to worry about like, just, life (laughter) like school and stuff like that. 8. If you were teaching a language class, would you use games as a strategy for your students to learn? WEHI: Yes I would. 9. While playing the game, what were you focusing on? WEHI: Just being creative. I wanted to come up with something creative. I know wasnt too good at it, but just being creative with my phrases.
183 10. In very general terms, given the fact that you must come to class five days a week, what type of activities in foreign language classes make attending class worthwhile for you? WEHI: The games definitely and learning new material, like the games helped learn new material while having fun so I think the games were a great activity.
APPENDIX J WORD GAME INTERVIEW (INSTRUCTORS) INEU (T1) I would like to get feedback on your impressions of and on your experience with the word games that we used in your classes. Feel free to elaborate on any of the following questions. You are also free to not answer any of the following questions. Please be as candid as you can: 1. Did you enjoy playing the word games with your students, if so why, why not? Yes, because the students for the most part appeared to enjoy themselves and since theyre having fun, I think they are learning something, thats a good experience. 2. What does bringing word games into the classroom do for the atmosphere of the class? I think it wakes them up a little bit, gives them a kind of change of pace from what they normaly do. I think probably some types of games lend themselveswell probably thinking of games in general that some games actually help them learn more and others are just kind of fun, but in either case, its kind of a nice change. 3. Do you feel that languages can be learned by means of ludic (fun) activities? Not exclusively, they can be incorporated but its not all that I would use. 4. Does playing games in the class affect in any way your relationship with the students? Yeah, they, you know, they perceive you as being a little more fun, a little more a little less structured. 5. Do you feel that the students enjoyed themselves while playing these games? If so, what evidence can you point to to back your claim? Yeah, I think that they had fun becausejust from their behavior during the games and the fact that in one of my classes they wanted to play one more round when I was ready to finish. 6. Will you use these games or games like them in future classes? Probably yeah, the one with the si clause, I had done something really similar to that before. But the very first one I thought was a good game with the letters because itsits also kind of a good ice-breaker if you do it during the first few weeks when the kids dont know each other very well. 7. Did your opinion of games, or your perspective of using games in the classroom change at all as a result of this experiment? 184
185 Yeah, a little bit, I dont do a lot of games because I really have to feel strongly that they have a specific purpose and they are really going to help on a specific point. I dont do them for the heck of it and I think probably I just, you know, learned a couple more games that I could use. 8. What else would you like to add to this discussion? No, I dont think so.
186 Word Game Interview (Instructors) Toca (T2) & Saai (T3) Me gustara saber algo sobre sus impresiones y su experiencia con respecto a los juegos que usamos en sus clases. Pueden explicarme con detalle sus respuestas. Tambin pueden rehusar de contestar cualquiera de las preguntas. Favor de contestar francamente. 1. Le agrad el haber jugado los juegos de palabras con sus estudiantes? Por qu? TOCA: Yo encontr los juegos muy apropiados para lo que estbamos estudiando en la clase. Sobre todo el ltimo juego, sobre el subjuntivo, fue una experiencia muy educativa y muy buena para m, por que me di cuenta que este juego les ayuda a los alumnos a poder entender un aspecto gramatical que en s resulta difcil y sobre todo muy tedioso, muy tedioso en la clase; entonces, hacindolo como un juego ellos se divirtieron y al mismo tiempo se ayudaron mutuamente para poder hacer las respuestas, y de tal forma ellos pudieron entender el contenido de una forma muy liviana, muy amena. SAAI: Como dice ella, por ejemplo, como dice ella, el ltimo juego, como ya te coment, me encant, me gust bastante. Sobre todo porque hay una retroalimentacin entre los compaeros, sobre todo en la correccin. Que sigo, que en el final el professor es el que tiene que corregir. Pero si ellos pudieran corregir, porque creo que uno de los objetivos es que el estudiante podra, pueda darse cuenta dnde es el error y lo pueday por ejemplo me di cuenta que haba estudiantes que se dieron cuenta de que haban errores y de repente salan a la pizarra y lo borraban y lo corregan, lo que es bueno, que Lo interesante de estos juegos es que hasta cierto punto hace que el centro de la clase ya no sea el professor sino que sea el alumno. El profesor est ah un poco para motivar, que continuen y todosobre todo por que tambin es una actividad competitiva. Y creo que cuando los alumnus estn en unenen grupos, si hay quien termina antes es un incentivo, No? Lo nico es que esas actividades son actividades gramticas en el sentido por queyo me preguntara si pueda haber actividades que se puedan implementar sin que el alumno haya tenido un conocimiento previo del punto gramatical. Por ejemplo, por que yo creo que si los alumnos no hubieran aprendido ni el subjuntivo ni el condicional, la tarea habra tenido un fracaso total. Entonces, yo me pregunto, que entiendo el juego como algo donde el alumno puede ver que no solamenteque complementario a la parte de gramtica. Lo nico que es, yo no le podra llamar gramtica ni inductiva ni deductiva porque el alumno ya tiene un conocimiento previo. Lo considero que son unas actividades buenas para relajar y para alternar la rutina de la clase, no? En cuanto a este ltimo juego que es el que me recuerdo bastante. TOCA: Bueno, yo creo que como repaso, los juegos son fenomenales y tambin yo me di cuenta queen este ltimo juego, yo no haba hecho ningn ejercicio con mis alumnos respecto a la forma gramatical que bamos a emplear en el juego. Les haba dado unos ejercicios nicamente con el condicional pero no haciendo la estructura gramatical completa, entonces, yo me sorprend mucho de ver cmo, durante el juego, ellos hasta cierto punto dominaron el contenido de lo que yo tena intencin de ensear ese da.
187 2. Qu efecto tiene, en el ambiente en general, el usar juegos en la clase? TOCA: Yo creo que es muy bueno para relajar al estudiante porque, precisamente yo, en la clase de las doce donde se jugaron estosdonde se hicieron estas actividades, not que el grupo est bastante tenso. Entonces, yo siempre, los das que hacamos los juegos, yo vea que los alumnos se relajaban porque les daba oportunidad de convivir con sus compaeros pero sin el estrs de estar teniendo que aprender algo sobre lo que yo los, posiblemente, estara calificando, ellos lo hicieron de una manera muy libre y muy espontnea. Y creo que all es donde est el xito de ese tipo de actividades. SAAI: Positivo porque los entretiene, los pone a trabajar en parejas o en grupos, en este caso grupos y, como dice ella, a veces hay momentos tensos, no? Y sobre todo porque jugando se aprende una lengua, no? Y pueden ver por ejemplo, sin que ellos se den cuenta, se estn divirtiendo como se pueden divertir en un juego normal, pero, por ejemplo en el STOP, yo no saba que es un juego que se da en el mundo anglo sajn, en Espaa creo que le llaman Tutifruti que vas poniendo as y vas jugando, ni se dan cuenta de que lo pueden hacer en espaol, no? Creo que es interesante. 3. T tambin estas de acuerdo que una lengua se puede aprender por medio de un juego? TOCA: Definitivamente, s. He visto yo los resultados porque creo que se aprende ms fcilmente hasta cierto punto porque, vuelvo a decir, porque no estn bajo estrs, o sea, estn relajados totalmente. SAAI: Como, por ejemplo, me acuerdo de un caso de un juego as que yo haca, y porque s que lostoma tiempo tambin. Obviamente yo no he hecho muchos juegos por cuetiones administrativas y por quecomo ya sabemos muy bien si yo quisiera me acuerdo que cuando estaba dando los nmeros, cuando estaba en Irlanda yo, lo que tena era mi lotera y los boletos esos del bingoy los tena de intencin dey bueno porque tenan que escuchar el nmero, no? pero realmente por cuestiones administrativas y burocrticas, yo no me lo poda permitir llevar a cabo un juego porqueyo no me lo puedo costear, por ejemplo, sobreentiendo que hay muchos profesores que comprenden que los juegos son buenos pero del dicho al trecho o del hecho alhay mucho TOCA: del dicho a lo hechotrecho 4. Tiene algn efecto en la relacin maestro(a)-aprendiz cuando se emplean juegos en la clase? TOCA: Yo creo que el alumno se siente ms cmodo con el profesor; yo creo que es otro nivel, ya no es tanto el atlas como se nombra y dirigindo todo y sino que es algoes unaun esfuerzo comunitario hasta cierta forma de todos los alumnos, entonces, creo que el maestro est al nivelcreo que los alumnos ven al profesor a su nivel y eso creo que ayuda para tener un momento de ms confianza, de ms intercambio con el professor.
188 SAAI: El efecto siempre ser positivo siempre que el professor diga el por qu se implementa el juego en el aula. Yo he podido ver que en el segundo juego, que no me acuerdo cul erapero que mis alumnus al final de la clase dijeron que no les gust porque no le vieron sentido. S le vieron sentido al STOP y a otrosentonces, a veces, por ejemplo, sobreestimamos lo que el alumno puede pensar sobre el juego, no? Entonces, tiene efectos positivos siempre que el alumno le vea el por qu, no? tambin, porque el alumno va a ver el por qupor elfor the sake of playing a gameno es suficientesino que ellos tienen que ver, al final, que han podido conseguir 5. Tiene Ud. la impresin de que sus aprendices se divirtieron con estos juegos? TOCA: Bueno, estoy de acuerdo con eso de que el segundo juego no les divirti, no lesno lo encontraron muy til ypero en cuanto a los otros juegos, s, s los disfrutaron porque, incluso, a veces, estaba dando yo una explicacin y luego pausaba y me decan: Can we do one of Fernandos games? Y entonces me daba cuenta yo que s los haban disfrutado y que les gusta, que les gusta hacerlos por, otra vez, por la convivencia y por la facilidad del aprendizaje. 6. Usari Ud. estos juegos u otros parecidos en el futuro? TOCA: Incluso, yo ya los he utilizado con mi otra clase, con mi grupo de control, obviamente que no el mismo da, que eran el grupo de control, pero ya los he utilizado y me han dado buenos resultados. SAAI: Definitivamente, s los utilizara en otras clases, s. 7. Cambi en algo su opinin o perspectiva en cuanto al uso de juegos en la clase como resultado directo de este experimento? TOCA: Bueno, yo en realidad, el semestre pasado utlizaba muchos juegos y siempre encontraba muy buenos resultados, fue por ella razn que me agrad la idea de poder participar en esta investigacin porque yo quera verquera yo aprender otros tipos de juegos y ver tambin los resultados que podran tener, enfocados ms hacia unahacia una meta didctica. SAAI: Por ejemplo, yo siempre he utilizado juegos, no? Lo nico quesi hablando de un contexto especfico que es la universidad, aqu, desafortunadamente s que yo no puedo hacer muchos juegos porque hay un clash con lo que es el programa, no? Yo s que de mi punto de vista que a nivel de universidad, como una universidad, aqu lo digo pues como es UF que seguro t(incomprehensible) pondrs X, no funciona porque no puede funcionar hacer juegos continuamente. Pero es gracioso porque cuando hablamos de juegos, creo que tenemos la creencia de que juego quiere decir tener un juego asun juegoel juego puede aparecer en cualquier momento en el aulano s, que no tiene que haber un juego que se diga STOP, o un juego as. Que sean buenos que ya hayan juegos que estn bien marcados dentro de unas metas, de unos objetivos, unas estructuras gramaticales que se van a enfocar, no? Pero quela clase puede ser un juego en s. Considero que los juegos son muy positivos porque as aprenden los nios.
189 S, yo estaesta pregunta va dirigida a, ms bien, otros profesores que no slo nunca utilizaron pero a m me haban dicho que no crean que tuvieran ningn xito. SAAI: Tiene exun momento, tiene xito, lo que pasa es que si uno va a preguntar si un juego tiene un xito con referencia al resultado de un examen, obviamente, no. Pero yo s que los juegos los alumnos en el futuro van a verlovan a ver Cmo se llamalos resultados de esto se va a notar. Sobre todo, en el nivel de la expresin oral. De la expresin oral y comprensin oral. Pero, para pasar un examen, obviamente, no se puede implementar un juego. Es lo que yo creo porque los exmenes que de la universidad aqu, por ejemplo, pues, es de pura gramtica, no? TOCA: Creo que son un componente importante como dice SAAI, que ahorita, que esta seccin que enseamos es bsicamente pura gramtica, entonces, utilizando juegos rompemos esa monotona. Y yo, por siempre tengo en mente un juego que puedo hacer rpidamente cuando veo que la clase est que no est funcionando lo que estoy haciendo, francamente. Entonces, recurro a un juego simplemente para motivarlos, para que despierten hasta cierto punto y, luego, ya podemos continuar. SAAI: S, yo hago juegos, por ejemplo antes de comenzar la clase para romper. Es lo que le llamo icebreakers ejercicios, no? Un juego, por ejemplo, incluso si quiero ser positivo en un sistema como ste donde todo es examen, se podra crear lo que hay pequeos juegos, mini juegos, entre actividad y actividad que uno pueda considerar pesada, lo que yo llamo que es muy importante en la enseanza de una segunda lengua, la transicin de una actividad a otra, porque es ah dondedondecomo profesor, y eetienes que saber hacerlo. Y que el alumno, sin que se d cuenta, haya pasado de una manera una hora sin haberse dado cuenta que ha habido small chunksmomentos dey por que, eso, sin darse cuenta meter al estudiante dentro de una hora llena de gramtica y de juegos, no? Pero, yo creo que muchos profesores no implementan juegos porque cuestoma tiempo, toma tiempo. Entiende, posiblemente sea que esos profesores te hayan dicho que no creen es porque nunca lo han implementado y porque no han visto a los alumnus como yo los he visto disfrutarcomo tontos. TOCA: Bueno, una cosa que yo he escuchado a algunos profesores decirque a ellos les da mucha decepcin cuando han planeado, han diseado, un juego, y le han invertido tiempo y que luego llega y lo implementan y que no les da resultados, que no les gusta a los alumnus. Pero yo en esos casos, creo que el profesor como modelo, tiene mucha culpa, digo, si l no est motivado, si l no cree en su juego, obviamente que no va a poder contagiar al alumo. SAAI: Y obviamente, por ejemplo, un juego puede funcionar muy bien si tu conoces ya a tus estudiantes. T tienes que saber que ese juego va a tener que cambser remodelado un poco para que se pueda adaptar a tu grupo. Yo no creo que unyo no creo quecreo que nunca va a tener resultados si un profesor est dentro deest en su oficina, ve un juego, lo fotocopia, lo hace y va a la clasey, obviamente, tiene que pensar el por qucmo va a poderqu va a pasar durante
190 el proceso de este juego. Como yo digo, un profesor de segunda lengua tiene que predecirif you dont predictes eso, es algoy obviamente, obviamente, la experiencia te lo dicequ va a pasar despus del juegoqu puede pasar durante el juegoque elementos van a necesitar durante el juegocmo me va a actuar este grupo, esta estudiante quepero 8. Le gustara aadir algo ms a esta charla?
191 Word Game Interviews (Instructors) Fica T4 Me gustara saber algo sobre sus impresiones y su experiencia con respecto a los juegos que usamos en su clase. Puede explicarme con detalle sus respuestas. Tambin puede rehusar de contestar cualquiera de las preguntas. Favor de contestar francamente. 1.Le agrad el haber jugado los juegos de palabras con sus estudiantes? Por qu? Creo que fue una buena experiencia porque bueno, son algunos juegos que yo haba querido hacer por ejemplo ste, el primer juego que jugamos, yo ya lo haba jugado con un grupo, pero no funcion muy bien y creobueno tambin fue muy poco tiempo que yo les haba dado. Entonces el tener experiencia de diferentes juegos y dndoles un tiempo o ms de lo que yo haba pensado que haba que darles a estos juegos, me sirvi para ver la respuesta que tienen de parte de los estudiantes, no? Por otro lado, bueno, siento que el primer juego funcion muy bien porque los otros tambin adaptndolos de cierta manera, hacindolos competitivos comoes que hay mejor reaccin por parte de los estudiantes y, bueno por otro lado tambin creo que darme cuenta que a veces los juegos son buenos pero si el grupo no responde no funciona, no? el juegoy siendo que cuando el otro grupo que era el que no estaba jugando, siento que a lo mejor con ese grupo hubiera funcionado mucho mejor, no? 2. Qu efecto tiene, en el ambiente en general, el usar juegos en la clase? Creo, bueno en el grupo que jugamos hace este ambiente competitivo o que tienen eeestn motivados a participar y, a lo mejor no se dan cuenta de lo que que estn haciendo uso de estructuras o vocabulario y de que estn aprendiendoy bueno, ese es otro de los propsitos, no? de que estn usando vocabulario y estructuras que ya conocen, que acaban de aprendery, aunque no s que efecto haya tenido el que los estudiantes supieran que era un juego, pues, que iban a jugar en lugar de actividades. Que siento que a lo mejor tenan esta como impresin que iban a hacer juegos divertidos, no? y que a la mera hora resultaron ms bien actividades didcticas, no?, y que o tenan lala el primer juego, siento que les gust mucho y ya despus los otros han de haber dicho, bueno, sto no es un juego en la opinin de los estudiantes. 3. Se puede aprender un idioma por medio de actividades ldicas? S, yo creo que s. Yo estoy completamente a favor de este tipo de actividades y yo creo que sobre todo en este nivel, el 1131, hay demasiado material, demasiado vocabulario, demasiada gramtica que tienen que aprender. Y con la memoria, no basta, no? O sea, por ejemplo, ahorita en el examen final van a tener un ejercicio donde van a tener queescoger de cinco tiempos verbales, no? Entonces, cmo lo van a hacer si nopor ms que tengan memorizados, cmo van a es prctico? Si no han tenido la oportunidad de practicar los tiempos diferentes S, si no han tenido la oportunidad de practicarlo, por pura memoria, no van aes difcil, no? Entonces yo creo que los juegos tal vez es algo repetitivo tambin y no se hace tediosoes una buena manera, no?
192 4. Tiene algn efecto en la relacin maestro(a)-aprendiz cuando se emplean juegos en la clase? Yo creo que s. Igual que tiene un efecto entre ellos queempiezan a establecer una relacin entre ellos que a lo mejor no se dara si solo estn contestando ejercicios. Tambin, hay unaun acercamiento, no? Se sienestn viviendo eh, que uno sea justo, y se rompea lo mejorCmo se dir?como barreras que a lo mejor se establecieronno? Puede ser ms fcil pedir explicaciones, tambin, que s, a lo mejoralgn estudiante yo creo que le dara miedo preguntar, como estn jugando, como para aclarar reglas, puede ser ms fcil hacer la pregunta, no? 5. Tiene Ud. la impresin que sus aprendices se divirtieron con estos juegos? Pues, s se divirtieron algunos, pero tambin muchos tenan esta expectativa de que iban a ser juegos y que, bueno, son juegos, pero, no s, estaran pensandoel hecho de habrsele dicho que eran juegos, no unas actividades para un estudio, siento que a lo mejor esoestaban esperando otra cosa y cada vez siento que fue disminuyendo el entusiasmo. Pero siento que creo que la mayora estaba entusiasmado, no? Tambin, por otro lado creo, a lo mejor en los primeros cuestionarios quien sabe, no s que es lo que han contestado, no? Pero, siento que a lo mejor, a medida que fueron pasando cada vez habrn sido ms sinceras sus respuestas 6. Usari Ud. estos juegos u otros parecidos en el futuro? S, yo pienso usar este de categorasde hecho, como a las tres semanas de haber jugado ese juego, lo volvimos a jugar en el juego que era el de experimentalque me haban estado pidiendo que lo jugramos y un da que ya termin la clase y todava faltaba tiempo, dije que bueno, que vamos a jugar y funcion bastante bienel de las categorias gramaticalesy, bueno, el ltimo que jugamos tambin pienso utilizarloparece interesante y no slo con estecon esta estructura gramatical creo se podra adaptar con otras s, yo creo que s pienso usar los juegos. 7. Cambi en algo su opinin o perspectiva en cuanto al uso de juegos en la clase como resultado directo de este experimento? Pues yo creo que s. A lo mejor voy a estar menoscon menos miedo de experimentar y de pasar ms tiempo jugando, no? A m se me haca mucho pensaba, veinte minutos de la clasepensaba que a lo mejor iba a ser mucho tiempo y bueno, de hecho, no es mucho tiempo y pueden los estudiantes aprender bastante, no? Por ejemplo, tambin me di cuenta de varios estudiantes que faltaron el da que yo expliqu algunas de las cosas que habamos visto como el juego les serva para darse cuenta de cmo estaban funcionando las oraciones. Pues, s creo, porque yo siempre me he querido introducir juegos, hacer las clases dinmicas, hacer la clase que no sea tannada ms de libroy creo quepero siempre haba estado pensando bueno, si lessi jugamos, no va a dar tiempo de hacer otras cosas o de cubrir el materialy bueno, darme cuenta de que se pueden adaptar los juegos para hacer las dos cosas al mismo tiempo.
193 8. Le gustara aadir algo ms a esta charla? No, es todo, me dio mucho gusto haber participado formar parte del experimento.
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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Fernando Ojeda was 9 years old when his family moved from Costa Rica to Miami, Florida, for permanent residence in this country. His love of soccer and his abilities in that sport allowed him to receive full scholarships to Miami Dade Community College and to Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. While at Appalachian State University, he earned a B.A. and an M.A. in Spanish literature and Jr. College education. He taught high-school Spanish for 3 years at Chapel Hill High School, in North Carolina. He also taught English as a second language to adults for 2 years in Miami, Florida. He has traveled and lived in France where he studied French; and to Brazil where he studied Portuguese. In 1997 he moved his family to Gainesville to begin doctoral studies in linguistics in the department of Romance Languages and Literatures. While in Gainesville, he taught 1 year of beginning-level Spanish at the University of Florida. In 1999, he returned to the Tampa Bay area, where he had been living and working since 1989. He has been teaching Spanish and English ESOL at St. Petersburg College, Clearwater campus, since August of 1989. He lives in Palm Harbor, Florida with his wife, Jeanna; and his children, Adriana Eliane and Carlos Eduardo. His parents, Carlos Ojeda and Ana Ojeda; and his brother Carlos Enrique also reside with him. 202